Advocacy, fair trial, Human Rights

pour les femmes: french lawyer and feminist Gisele Halimi died a year ago this month


🇫🇷 Gisèle Halimi (born Zeiza Gisèle Élise Taïeb 27 July 192) a tireless lawyer, a trail blazing Tunisian-French lawyer, feminist, MP and essayist [1] died aged 93 on 28 July 2020. The death was confirmed by her son Emmanuel Faux.

Gisèle Halimi championed feminist causes and other human rights efforts for more than seven decades, playing a key role in the decriminalization of abortion in France.  Her cases were often precedent-setting and helped shift French laws and attitudes about abortion and women’s rights. Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Feminist icon’ changed abortion laws



As a lawyer, Ms Halimi (pronounced ah-lee-mee) frequently sought to redress injustices against women and to seek justice for victims of torture in countries like Tunisia and Algeria, both of which were under French control when she began practicing law in the postwar years.

“She assumed the world was divided between oppressing and oppressed people,” said Violaine Lucas, a national secretary of Choisir La Cause des Femmes, a women’s rights organization that Ms. Halimi co-founded in 1971 with the author and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. “These convictions were in her guts.”



Ms. Halimi’s first book reflected on the celebrated case of her client Djamila Boupacha, an Algerian nationalist who was raped and tortured by the French authorities. The introduction was by Simone de Beauvoir, the cover portrait by Picasso.

To most, the words “influential French feminist” probably conjure Simone de Beauvoir. Perhaps fewer outside France have heard of Gisèle Halimi, a contemporary French feminist, intellectual and campaigning lawyer. But Halimi, who died at her home in Paris in July just a day after turning 93, co-founded a women’s rights organisation with De Beauvoir: Choisir La Cause des Femmes, in 1971.





Halimi walks with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre a the Palais de Justice in Paris in 1970.CREDIT:GETTY



Djamila Boupacha’s tribute to Gisèle Halimi It wasn’t just my lawyer, it was my sister!”

“A big part of my life is gone. Gisèle was not only my lawyer, but a big sister, on whom I could count. She assisted me in the most difficult moments, especially in the prisons of France where I had no one to rely on. Gisèle risked her life to defend me and defend Algeria. Today, I lose this big sister, who will remain in my heart forever. I extend to her children Jean-Yves and Serge Halimi, as well as to their brother Emmanuel Faux, whom I knew as babies, as well as to all of Gisèle’s family my most saddened condolences. To God we belong and to Him we return. “



Gisèle Halimi with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. (Photo, AFP)




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