Argentina legalising abortion is a victory for women over the abuse of political power | Giselle Carino

The young Green Wave activists follow in the steps of the grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in forcing change

The women looked like my grandmothers, at least as I remember them. Every Thursday, they would sit on benches in the square, white headscarves covering their hair, and together they would wait or march. The scarves represented nappies, as if their children were still babies, whatever their age. They were the mothers – and later the grandmothers – of the Plaza de Mayo, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the 1970s and 1980s. Once strangers to each other, they occupied the square to wait. They met at police stations and churches, where they went in search of information about their children. What exactly were they hoping to find? Their children – young men and women, students and workers – who had been disappeared by the military dictatorship, which lasted from 1976 to 1983. What they found instead was an unbearable truth: their children had been tortured and killed by the government.

Only later did it occur to me that I must have looked like their disappeared granddaughters, orphaned soon after birth inside the dictatorship’s prisons. These women searched for the truth in the Argentine style of politics from below: they took to the street, occupied the square, made their own bodies into a monument to the struggle.

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