A GROUP of feminist activists has renamed streets in Paris in an effort to bring attention to how few are named after women.
On Tuesday evening (August 25) the Osez le feminisme group replaced the original signs on numerous streets around Notre Dame. Pedestrians on Wednesday morning found themselves strolling along on Quai de Nina Simone, named after the singer who spent the last years of her life in France, or Square Sophie Scholl, for the young German student who was executed for opposing Nazism in 1943.
A spokeswoman for the campaigners, Marie Allibert, told French newspaper Le Figaro that just 2.6 per cent of the streets in Paris were named after women.
The group wants streets which are named after people to represent equal numbers of men and women. If renaming from scratch would prove too confusing for anyone trying to find their way round the city, the group has a suggestion – attach the names of significant women onto the end of existing streets.
“We could have Place de la Nation – Simone de Beauvoir,” said Allibert. That way, she argues, the demand for equal billing could be met with “large squares and symbolic places given to these great women.”