Laura Flessel, Olympian Fencer

Laura Flessel-Colovic (born November 6, 1971 in Pointe-??-Pitre) is a French ??p??e fencer. She is currently number one on the all-time list of French female Winter or Summer Olympic medal winners with five medals, two more than those on joint second place: Micheline Ostermeyer, Marielle Goitschel, Pascale Trinquet-Hachin, Perrine Pelen, Anne Briand-Bouthiaux, Marie-Jos?? P??rec, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, F??licia Ballanger and Laure Manaudou. She is married and has one daughter.

What brought the native of Guadeloupe to the summit of the fencing world was an unrelenting drive and competitive ferocity that early on earned her the sobriquet la Gu??pe ??? the Wasp. Flessel-Colovic latched onto fencing at age seven after seeing French legend Jean-Fran??ois Lamour on television. She abandoned dance lessons for the local fencing club ??? and soon began a victorious ascent through local and regional ranks. The promising southpaw didn’t leave home for Paris, and intensive training, until 1990, when ??? at 19, far from family, friends and acquaintances ??? she fought off loneliness by pouring all her attention and time into fencing (click here for the source and more).

Visit her official website.

How Did I Miss This Story? – You’re worth it – if white. L’Oreal guilty of racism

The French campaign group SOS Racisme brought the case against L’Or??al, the world’s largest cosmetics firm, over the campaign in 2000. Garnier France sought saleswomen to demonstrate the shampoo line Fructis Style in supermarkets outside Paris. They sought young women to hand out samples and discuss hairstyling with shoppers.

In July 2000, a fax detailing the profile of hostesses sought by L’Or??al stipulated women should be 18 to 22, size 38-42 (UK size 10-14) and “BBR”, the initials for bleu, blanc, rouge, the colours of the French flag. Prosecutors argued that BBR, a shorthand used by the far right, was also a well-known code among employers to mean “white” French people and not those of north African, African and Asian backgrounds.

One woman working in the recruitment firm involved said foreign-sounding names or photos showing a candidate was of Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian or other African origin would ensure candidates were eliminated. Another said: “I once had a good woman candidate but she was non-white. I had to ask someone to pretend that our list was full. It was hard.”

SOS Racisme said hundreds of jobs had been subject to discrimination in the case. Garnier and the recruitment company were initially acquitted last year, but the appeal court yesterday overturned the ruling. A former Garnier head and a senior recruitment agency executive were acquitted.

Anti-racism campaigners in France hailed the ruling. Racial discrimination in employment is a huge problem in France with a recent survey finding three out of four firms preferred white workers.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s new justice minister, Rachida Dati, the first woman of north African origin to hold a ministerial post, has ruled that special departments in prosecutors’ offices should be set up to deal with race discrimination.

Read the full story!

Christiane Taubira

Christiane Taubira, born in Cayenne, French Guiana, is a French politician. She ran for the office of President of France in 2002. Her party agreed to support the Socialists in 2007 so she didn’t run in France’s most recent Presidential election. President of her party Walwari, she has served as a French deputy at the National Assembly since 1993, and was re-elected in 1997. Non-affiliated in 1993, she then voted for the investiture of the conservative Edouard Balladur cabinet in 1993. In 1994, she became a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), being the fourth on the ??nergie Radicale list led by Bernard Tapie. In June 1997, she then joined the Socialist party (PS), and then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (PS) commissioned her for a report on gold search in Guiana.

Christiane Taubira gave her name to the May 21, 2001 law which recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity. In 2002, she was a Left Radical Party (PRG) candidate for the presidency although she does not belong to the party. She gained 2.32% of the votes. After 2002, she became vice-president of the Left Radical Party. She was elected again as deputy on June 16, 2002, and joined the socialist group in the Assembly.

Curriculum Vitae

Etat civil

N?? le 02 f??vrier 1952 ?? Cayenne (97300)



I – Formation sup??rieure

??conomiste (1er, 2eme et 3??me cycle de Sciences ??conomiques ?? Paris II – Assas et Panth??on) Sociologie et Ethnologie afro-am??ricaine (Sorbonne et Jussieu) Agro-alimentaire (3eme cycle CFCA : Centre Fran??ais de la Coop??ration Agricole Paris et Bordeaux) Langues ??trang??res : Anglais, Espagnol, Portugais.

II – Exp??rience professionnelle

Ancien Professeur de Sciences ??conomiques, ancienne Directrice du CNAM (Guyane), Ancien Directeur ou Directeur G??n??ral de Caricoop (Coop??ration agricole Antilles-Guyane) ; Atpag (Services techniques de la p??che maritime) ; Occe (Coop??ration et Commerce Ext??rieur avec la Cara??be, les 3 Am??riques, l’Asie du Sud-est).

III – Fonctions ??lectives

D??put??e de Guyane ??lue en 1993, r????lue en 1997, 2002 et 2007 ; Membre de la Commission des Affaires ??trang??res, D??put??e au Parlement Europ??en ??lue en 1994 (un mandat de 1994 ?? 1999) ; Membre de la Commission D??veloppement et Coop??ration, Membre de la D??l??gation UE/ACP.

IV-Actions l??gislatives (s??lection sur dimension internationale)

Auteur de la premi??re proposition de Loi visant ?? interdire la fabrication, le stockage, la vente et l’usage des mines anti-personnel (MAP) f??vrier 1995,

Auteur d’une r??solution du Parlement Europ??en pour l’interdiction des MAP ; Mars 1995, Rapporteur ?? l’Assembl??e Nationale de la Loi d’interdiction des MAP, Membre de la D??l??gation Officielle fran??aise ?? la Convention Internationale d’Ottawa (Canada) pour l’interdiction de production, de stockage, d’exportation des MAP (d??cembre 1997),

Rapporteur ?? l’Assembl??e Nationale de la loi de ratification par la France de la Convention internationale d’interdiction des MAP,

Membre de la D??l??gation Officielle fran??aise ?? la Convention Internationale de Maputo (Mozambique) pour l’??valuation de l’application de la Convention d’Ottawa (juin 1999),

Auteur de la proposition de Loi visant ?? reconna??tre la traite n??gri??re et l’esclavage comme crime contre l’humanit??. Texte adopt?? par le Parlement fran??ais le 10 mai 2001, promulgu?? par le Pr??sident de la R??publique fran??aise le 21 mai 2001 sous le n?? 2001-434.Texte co-sign?? par le Premier Ministre et huit ministres concern??s par ses dispositions (??ducation, recherche, Justice, Culture et Communication, Affaires ??trang??res, Affaires Europ??ennes, Int??rieur, Outre-Mer),

Intervention devant le Conseil Ex??cutif de l’Unesco pour plaider la n??cessit?? de l’adoption de lois nationales et d’un texte international de reconnaissance du crime contre l’humanit?? et de r??paration par des politiques publiques cibl??es (octobre 1999),

Membre de la D??l??gation Officielle fran??aise ?? la Conf??rence Internationale contre le racisme, la x??nophobie et l’intol??rance qui lui est associ??e ?? Durban (Afrique du Sud, septembre 2001). Conf??rence-d??bat ?? Durban de pr??sentation de la loi fran??aise n?? 2001-434. Intervenante dans le panel de l’Unesco consacr?? aux liens entre esclavage et racisme ?? Durban, Rapporteur du Budget de l’Action Humanitaire de la France (1993, 1994, 1995),

Rapporteur pour le Parlement Europ??en des relations entre l’Union Europ??enne et les pays ACP (Afrique, Cara??be, Pacifique) dans le domaine de l’Environnement et du D??veloppement durable),

Auteur d’un rapport command?? par le Premier Ministre sur l’activit?? mini??re en Guyane et ses retomb??es dans les relations de coop??ration, Rapporteur de Conventions fiscales entre la France et divers pays de la Cara??be.

V – Activit??s compl??mentaires

Membre de la Commission Fran??aise de D??veloppement durable (nomination par le Premier Ministre), Membre de l’Observatoire National de la Parit?? (nomination par le Premier Ministre), Membre du Conseil Consultatif de la D??fenseuse des Enfants (Claire Brisset).

VI – Th??mes prioritaires du travail l??gislatif et politique

Education – Jeunesse – Recherche – D??veloppement durable – Environnement – Droits des Femmes Droits des Enfants -Coop??ration et G??ostrat??gie des bassins r??gionaux (Am??rique du Sud, Oc??an Indien, Pacifique).

VII – Engagements divers

Contributeur de Handicap International, Membre de la Ligue fran??aise des Droits de l’Homme, Membre de l’Human Rights Watch, Membre de ECPM (Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort), Parrainage d’enfants (prise en charge mensuelle des frais de scolarit??) : S??n??gal, Br??sil, Actions pour la suppression de la dette des pays du Sud.

VIII-Autres missions internationales

Observateur parlementaire aux premi??res ??lections multiraciales en Afrique du Sud (avril 1994), Membre de la D??l??gation Officielle fran??aise ?? l’investiture de Nelson MANDELA, Mission parlementaire sur le droit des Minorit??s en Afrique du Sud (septembre 1994), Membre de la D??l??gation officielle fran??aise ?? l’investiture de M. Thabo M’B??ki, Pr??sident de la R??publique Sud-Africaine (juin 1999), Membre de la D??l??gation du Parlement Europ??en au Sommet des femmes ?? P??kin (Chine septembre 1995), Membre de la D??l??gation de la Commission des Affaires Etrang??res de l’Assembl??e Nationale au Sommet des femmes m??diterran??ennes pour la paix ?? Marrakech (Maroc f??vrier 1995).

IX -Conf??rences universitaires et internationales

Universit??s fran??aises de Paris-Sorbonne, Paris-Nanterre, Paris-Cr??teil, Bordeaux, Nantes, Montpellier, Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble, IEP Paris, IEP Strasbourg, Universit?? Antilles Guyane. Divers lyc??es en France, aux Antilles, en Guyane, ?? la R??union. New-York University ; Schomburg Center ; CUNI ; Howard University ; Congressionnal Black Caucus ; Commission Ind??pendante Mill??naire pour l’Afrique (PNUD, B??nin juin 2001).

X – Ouvrages

Rendez-vous avec la Republique. 2007

Codes noirs : de l’esclavage aux abolitions (Introduction). 2005

L’esclavage racont?? ?? ma fille. 2002

Essais sur la p??che maritime ; sur la coop??ration transfrontali??re ; sur l’identit?? et la multiculturalit??. Nouvelles publi??es en ouvrages collectifs (Gallimard).

Bulletin parlementaire mensuel ?? Kayakou ??.

Cap sur l’horizon.

A Look At Sylvia Serbin – Speaker at the 1st Black European Women’s Congress in Vienna

Sylvia Serbin is a journalist, historian and author. She was born in Africa, raised in the West Indies, and lives in France. In her address to the 1st Black European Women’s Congress she presented her book, Reines d’Afrique et héroïnes de la diaspora noire. [Queens and heroines of the black diaspora].

Serena wins, Venus out

Once again, Serena Williams is the last U.S. woman standing at a major. The eight-time Grand Slam champion briefly struggled late in the day against young Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek, but powered through 6-3, 6-4 to enter the fourth round on Friday.

Serena’s older sister, Venus, was less fortunate, when fourth seed Jelena Jankovic knocked out the five-time Grand Slam winner 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to race the fourth round. Australian Samantha Stosur was also sent packing by No. 6 seed Nicole Vaidisova 6-4, 6-4.


Rachida Dati

For the first time in French history, the cabinet includes almost as many women as men. Seven of the 15 ministers are women, among them Rachida Dati, a young lawyer and the daughter of North African immigrants, who will head the Justice Ministry.

Commentators said that Sarkozy, the son of an Hungarian immigrant, had made an important move in appointing Dati to the Justice Ministry.

“This is not an Arab in charge of Arabs, it’s a woman of North African descent running one of the most important ministries in the government,” said Yves Michaud, a French philosopher.