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Facts about feminism in France


  • A petition presented to the National Assembly during the French Revolution sought equality for women.
  • During WW1, women, known as the Années folles, replaced male workers at the front.
  • Women obtained the right to vote on 21 April 1944.
  • French feminist theory is distinguished by a more philosophical and literary approach, assisted by forerunners such as Simone de Beauvoir, who published The Second Sex in 1949.
  • Left and right-wing female ministers signed the Manifeste des 10 in 1996 for equal representation of women in politics.
  • Socialist Ségolène Royal was the first female presidential candidate to pass the first round of the presidential election in 2007, confronting the conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.
  • In February 2012, following pressure from feminist groups. the government passed legislation mandating martial status title, notably the term mademoiselle, be removed from all official forms as it was seen as a form of discrimination.

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