On Monday, 8 March, the world came together to celebrate International Women’s Rights Day. This month of March, at LFWA, we are celebrating extraordinary women all month long (and throughout the year). We have put together a list of 10 French women to celebrate during Women’s History Month. These women were amazing trailblazers, the work they did paved the way for so many after them.
Simone Veil was a French magistrate and stateswoman who served as Health Minister in several governments and was President of the European Parliament. She was the first woman to hold that office. Simone was instrumental in advancing women's legal rights in France. A holocaust survivor, Simone was known and admired for for her commitment to European values and unity.
Olympe de Gouges was a French playwright and political activist. Her writings on women's rights and abolitionism reached a large audience in various countries. She was a an ardent advocate of may human rights, especially the equality of women, at a time when those beliefs were considered radical. In 1791, she wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Citizen, declaring that men and women are equal and should have the same rights.
Marie Curie was a physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, and is still to date the only person to win two Nobel prizes in two different science fields. The importance of Marie Curie's work is reflected in the numerous awards bestowed on her.
Édith Piaf was a singer-songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress. She was France's national chanteuse and one of the country's more widely known international stars. Her songs and singing style reflected the tragedies of her own difficult life. Her mother abandoned her at birth and she was taken in by her grandmother, who raised her in a brothel. She went on to have an illustrious career and is forever known as one of the greats.
Antoinette Fouque was a psychoanalyst who was involved in the French women's liberation movement. She cofounded the Mouvement de Libération des Femmes (MLF).
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