Olympe de Gouges (1748 – 1793) . by Marie Gomez

Olympe de Gouges – initially Marie Gouze – was one of the first French feminists during the French Revolution. She started writing as a playwright but became politically involved at the beginning of 1788. The first cause she defended was the abolishment of slavery. However, even though the anti-slavery plays she wrote were published and performed in 1789, she was better known for being one of the first French feminists together with Théroigne de Méricourt. In 1791, in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, she wrote the Declaration of Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, which echoed the same rights but extended them to women. She later wrote the Social Contract in which she assumed that women were equal to men in marriage and had the right to ask for divorce. She was arrested in 1793 because of her political involvement with the Girondists, her pamphlets and her famous poster The Three Urns, or the Salvation of the Fatherland. She was guillotined in November 1793. De Gouges is now seen as a feminist pioneer in France. Anne Hidalgo, who is currently running for mayor of Paris, wants her sepulchre to be transferred to the Panthéon because she thinks this is where she deserves to rest.

MARIE GOMEZ is a Master Student in Management ESCP Europe and she comes from both Paris and Madrid.

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