France is, by all means, a motherland of rebellious and progressive social movements getting along, and feminism is among them. The French Revolution has first proclaimed liberal and radical ideas and gave birth to multiple feminist theses which for a fairly long period of time have been developing into an independent freestanding movement forming up social opinion. Here we offer you a list of the most famous and influential French feminists that contributed a significant mite to achieving equality for le Deuxième Sexe.

Marlene Schiappa

A professional journalist, writer, and politician, this woman is known for being a Secretary of State in charge of Equality between Women and Men. She started a blog for young mothers and later became a professional journalist in such titles as Elle, Huffington Post, and Le Courrier de l’Atlas. However, she has always been politically active and even tried to run for City Council in 2001. In 2017 she entered La République en Marche! and was responsible for covering issues of gender equality.

In an interview to BFM TV in September 2017, she announced president Macron intention to make assisted reproductive technology available for all women regardless their fertility rate in order to stop subsequent discrimination of lesbian and single women.

After a sensational case of a discharge of a man who committed a rape of an 11-year old girl, Schiappa declared the necessity of establishing the age of consent in the range from 13 to 15 years.

Thalia Breton

Thalia Breton has been paying a genuine interest to questions of gender equality and feminism at a very young age. The way of her professional development illustrates this fact by marking several posts she occupied in the mentioned above area in such institutions like the Ministry of women rights, cities, youth and sport and the Office of the minister of social affairs, health, and women rights.

For almost two years she’s been the president and official representative of the Dare feminism! association which spreads its ideas through the newspaper raising questions dealing with the position women take in all spheres of life and with problems regarding the gender inequality. She wrote several materials for the newspaper herself.

Now as the regional head of the department of women rights and equality she performs the principal duties in order to stimulate and coordinate the politics in the women rights field and gender equality which is defined by the Government as two major focus areas: gender equality in professional, economic and social life; rights development and the campaign against gender discrimination.

Samira Bellil

Algiers born feminist  has been raised in Paris and became a famous writer and a campaigner for the rights of girls and women. The victim of several brutal sexual assaults she became famous after the publication of her autobiographical book Dans l’enfer des tournantes (‘In the hell of the “tournantes” (gang-rapes)), basing on her personal experience of overcoming the rape. The book illustrates the situation any young girl from the poor French suburb could get in.

Belil also took part in founding Ni Putes Ni Soumises (“Neither whores nor submissives”), the organization dealing with issues of violence against young women in France.  It threw light on the tragic occasions which happened to young women who among other things were the victims of the gang-rapes.

Partly thanks to Ni Putes Ni Soumises and Samira Bellil the French government started the investigation of violence against women in Muslim communities.

Christine Détrez

The professor in social studies at The Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon and a researcher of gender and culture published several books covering issues feminism deals with. She has recently published two comprehensible books revealing the concept of gender inequality. In her researches, she concentrates on gender sociology, cultural sociology and on cultural studies sociology.

Détrez is an active participant in the University conferences and both academic and civic debates. In ENS Lyon she has a research seminar “Gender and academic culture”.

Élisabeth Badinter

Philosopher, author, historian and one of the wealthiest French citizens Élisabeth Badinter prominently features in the development of French feminism and the progress in reaching equal rights for both genders from the philosophical point of view. She is an advocate of liberal feminism and women migrant workers rights in France.

In her work “L’un est l’autre” she raises the question of the complementarities of masculine and feminine traits in gendered identities and the conflicts that arise when these complementarities are subjected to oppression. Her idea was that the new era of gender similarities will cause the revolution of ideas. Her another book “La fausse” route reflects on the victimisation of women by contemporary feminists. In 2010 she was named the “most influential intellectual” thanks to the books developing the topic of motherhood and female rights.

Julie Muret

In an interview to L’Humanité Julie explains that she always was sympathetic to feminism and felt like a feminist. She was surprised at the fact that her grandmother managed to get her chequebook only at the age of 45! These and other examples of historical injustice made her choose to fight for gender equality a prevailing direction of her professional activity. In the beginning of 2009, she made a collaboration with other 6 activists and the result was the organisation Dare Feminism!, where she was an official representative for 3 years.

She is currently employed at the Centre Hubertine Auclert, the organization dealing with gender equality issues basing in Paris. The centre stimulates equality between men and women and stands against violence with the support of the regional observatory on violence against women. It brings reliable information and resources for actors and actresses in that particular region.

Laurence Rossignol

Laurence Rossignol is a famous French politician who is currently serving as a member of the French Senate from 2011 to 2014, representing Oise. Her political career is marked by her active position regarding feminism and fighting for equal rights for women. In the seventies, Rossignol was an active member of French Mouvement de libération des femmes and stood for the right to the abortion and other issues illustrating respect for women in French society. She was participating in a number of commissions for women rights, including the Secretariat of The Socialist Party (PS).

In 2005 during the public debates, she developed the idea that women as the descendants of the settled still are the victims of the stereotypes developed by the previous generations. In 2012 defended the position pushing for banning the prostitution.

Subscribe to WM Daily. Be In Touch With Rebellious Voices