Thérèse Clerc, was a French feminist activist, born on December 9, 1927 in Paris and died on February 16, 2016 in Montreuil, who worked to defend the rights of women, and more specifically those of older women.
At the age of 20, she learned the fashion design profession and married a small entrepreneur who owned an industrial cleaning business. At the turn of May 1968, she advocated for free abortion and contraception within the MLAC movement (Movement for Free Abortion and Contraception). A year later, in 1969, she divorced her husband and bought an apartment in Montreuil, where she performed abortions for free.
Always with the aim of helping women, in 2000, she founded in Montreuil the “House of Women” open to women of all ages, victims of violence, in insertion or reinsertion. Then, in the same year, still in Montreuil, she wanted to found the “House of Babayagas”, an “anti-retirement house” self-managed by the residents, elderly and low-income, around the values of citizenship, secularism, solidarity, ecology and feminism. But she faced some discrimination because of her gender: at the last minute, the General Council of the Seine Saint-Denis department cancelled the project, claiming that the project, reserved for women, would be “discriminatory”. It was only 9 years later that the project was relaunched in 2009 by the Montreuil City Council and the city’s social housing office, and it finally opened at the end of 2012. Last but not least, she also created the University of the Knowledge of Elders (UNISAVIE), the first popular university about old age.