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Elle Jauffret

Writer ~ Science Enthusiast ~ Fork Handler

International Women's Day: 10 Notable French Women Who Led the Way

10 Notable French Women Who Led the Way 


Christine de Pizan (1364-1430): French royal court writer (one of the most notable woman writers of medieval times) who brought up the importance of women in her writing.

Joan of Arc (1412-1431): fearless teenager, feminist, who led the French army to victory, battle after battle.

Olympe de Gouges (1748 –1793) playwright and activist who wrote “declaration of the rights of woman and the female citizen.”

Marie Curie (1867 -1934): Polish-born scientist who won two Nobel Prizes (one in chemistry and one in physics), making her the first person to win two prizes. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris.

Alice Guy-Blaché (1873-1968): first female pioneer in French cinema, first female director and writer of narrative fiction films who was one of the first to embrace early sound syncing system, color tinting, interracial casting, genderswapping, and special effects.

Josephine Baker (1906-1975) American-born dancer, actress, singer, and activist who refused to perform in front of segregated audiences. She was the first African American woman to star in a major motion picture and to be awarded a French military honor. She was involved in the Civil Rights movement and assisted the French Resistance.

Germaine Tillion (1907-2008): anthropologist, World War II resistance fighter, activist, and holocaust survivor, who conducted anthropological studies of the camp inmates and performed musical play for her fellow prisoners.

Jacqueline Auriol (1917-2000): aviator who set 5 world speed records, first female test pilot, and one of the first women to break the sound barrier. 

Simone de Beauvoir (1908 -1986): social theorist, writer, and activist who advocated for women’s rights and actively participated in the women’s liberation movement.

Emma Watson (1990-) English actress (born in France), activist, feminist, and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador who spoke about gender equality  and led the HeForShe campaign.


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