Cécile Brunschvicg

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Cécile Brunschvicg
Undersecretary of State for national education of France
In office
5 June 1936 – 21 June 1937
President Albert Lebrun
Prime Minister Léon Blum
Preceded by Henri Guernut
Succeeded by Léo Lagrange
Personal details
Born Cécile Kahn
(1877-07-19)July 19, 1877
Enghien-les-Bains, France
Died October 5, 1946(1946-10-05) (aged 69)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Nationality French
Political party PRS
Spouse(s) Léon Brunschvicg

Cécile Brunschvicg (French: [sesil bʁœ̃svik]), born Cécile Kahn (19 July 1877 in Enghien-les-Bains – 5 October 1946 in Neuilly-sur-Seine), was a French feminist politician. From the 1920s until her death she was regarded as "the grande dame of the feminist movement" in France.[1]

She was born into a Jewish middle-class, republican family. Her familial environment was not inclined to let women study, especially not when they were over 17. Already a "liberated" woman (for the time), it was her meeting, and subsequent marriage to, Léon Brunschvicg, a feminist philosopher and member of the Ligue des droits de l'homme, that spurred her to feminist activism; she became vice-president of the League of Electors for women's suffrage.

The French Union for Women's Suffrage (UFSF: Union française pour le suffrage des femmes) was founded by a group of feminists who had attended a national congress of French feminists in Paris in 1908, led by Jeanne Schmahl and Jane Misme.[2] The UFSF provided a less militant and more widely acceptable alternative to the Suffrage des femmes of Hubertine Auclert (1848–1914). The sole objective was to obtain women's suffrage through legal approaches.[2] The founding meeting of 300 women was held in February 1909. Cécile Brunschvicg was made secretary-general.[2] Schmahl was the first president.[3] Eliska Vincent accepted the position of honorary vice-president.[4] The UFSF was formally recognized by the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWFA) congress in London in April 1909 as representing the French suffrage movement.[2]

Cécile Brunschvicg was named Undersecretary of State for national education in the first Léon Blum government.