Cécile Brunschvicg

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Cécile Brunschvicg
Le Petit journal illustré Cecile Brunschwig.jpg
Cécile Brunschvicg in 1920.
Undersecretary of State for national education of France
In office
5 June 1936 – 21 June 1937
PresidentAlbert Lebrun
Prime MinisterLéon Blum
Preceded byHenri Guernut
Succeeded byLéo Lagrange
Personal details
Cécile Kahn

(1877-07-19)July 19, 1877
Enghien-les-Bains, France
DiedOctober 5, 1946(1946-10-05) (aged 69)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Political partyPRS
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.



  • Hause, Steven C. (2002). "Union Française Pour Le Suffrage Des Femmes (UFSF)". In Helen Tierney (ed.). Women's Studies Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  • Newhall, David S. (1999). "Brunschvicg, Cécile". Women in World History. 3: Brem-Cold. Waterford, CT: Yorkin Publications. ISBN 0-7876-4062-X.
  • Rappaport, Helen (2001). Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-101-4. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  • "The Woman Movement In France and Its Leader". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York. 1911-09-04. Retrieved 2015-03-23 – via newspapers.com.open access
  • (in French) Biography at the University of Angers