La Casa —  Simone Veil

The Casa — Simone Veil

Today in our series of portraits on the women of CASA Simone Veil the one who names our color Navy Blue.
''My demand as a woman is that my difference be taken into account, that I am not forced to adapt to the male model.''

''It is useless to disguise the facts: faced with a very markedly conservative environment, I had the triple defect of being a woman, of being in favor of the legalization of abortion, and finally of being Jewish. .''

Simone Veil was born in Nice on July 13, 1927 into a non-practicing Jewish family. His childhood was marked first by his father's financial difficulties during the crisis of the 1930s, then by the rise of anti-Semitism in France.

At the start of the Second World War, Simone Jacob changed her name to Jacquier, but this disguise was not enough and in 1944, she and her family were deported to different concentration camps. She found herself with one of her sisters and her mother in Auschwitz. She will never see her father and brother again. Only the three sisters survive and return to France once the war is over.

Returning to Paris in 1945, she began studying law and political science. It was also at Science Po that Simone Jacob met her future husband Antoine Veil. Once these studies were completed, she entered the judiciary and it was not until 1969 that she entered politics.

In 1974, she became Minister of Health in the government of Giscard d'Estaing. It was during this mandate that she fought for the decriminalization of abortion. It was in 1975 that she succeeded in passing the law which decriminalized abortion, a law which would later be commonly called the Veil law. This fight that she leads and wins, makes her very popular with the majority of French people, even if she also faces some very tough opposition, although in the minority.

In 1979, Simone Veil was the first woman to hold the position of President of the European Parliament. She then became a spokesperson for reconciliation with Germany and European unity. She was then appointed Minister of State, a position which had never before been held by a woman, under Balladur in 1993. From 1998, she sat for 9 years on the Constitutional Council. Furthermore, she chaired the foundation for the memory of the Shoah from 2001 to 2007.

It was also in 2007 that Simone Veil published her autobiography “Une vie” which retraces her career, her experience of the Shoah, her various battles… Her book is a success and has been translated into fifteen languages. She then presents her candidacy for the French Academy, received, she is then the 6th woman to occupy a seat in this institution more than dominated by men.

Towards the end of the 2000s, she quietly retired from politics, but she nevertheless gave her support to Sarkozy during the 2007 elections, then made various appearances, sometimes controversial, such as when she appeared at a Manif pour tous .

Died in 2017, four years after her husband, she will enter the Pantheon on the decision of President Macron. Politician, feminist and survivor of the camps, Simone Veil thus retains her role as a pioneer, once again appearing among the first women to occupy a place in an institution where men reign, even after their death.

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