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French women’s liberation movement founder dies

Antoinette Fouque
Antoinette Fouque DR

Antoinette Fouque, the co-founder the French Women’s Liberation Movement, has died at the age of 77.

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She died at her home in Paris between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

Born in Marseille in 1936, she earned a doctorate in political science, and started out as a teacher. In 1964 became a literary critic and translator.

Just months after the student protests of May 1968, Fouque and two other women founded the Women’s Liberation Movement in reaction to what they saw as the male dominance of the protest movement.

Their idea was to fight all forms of misogyny and improve women’s rights, including access to contraception and abortion, both of which became legal by middle of the 1970s.

Fouque founded the psychépo group "psychoanalysis and politics”, which became a main part of the French feminist movement, as a way to “deconstruct a culture of phallo-centrism”.

Fouque founded a women’s publishing company in 1973, and opened bookstores in Paris, Lyon and Marseille.

In the 1990s she turned to politics, and was elected a member of the European parliament in 1994.

Antoinette Fouque received France’s highest honours, including the Legion of Honour.

Following the news of her death, French president François Hollande called her an untiring defender of women’s rights.

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