Constitution of the French Republic, as last amended in 2008 (Loi constitutionnelle n°2008-724 du 23 juillet 2008)


A.    Declaration of human and civic rights of 26 August 1789

Article first
Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be based only on considerations of the common good.

Article 6
The Law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to take part, personally or through their representatives, in its making. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible to all high offices, public positions and employments, according to their ability, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and talents.

B.    Preamble to the constitution of 27 October 1946

Paragraph 3. The law guarantees women equal rights to those of men in all spheres.
Paragraph 13. The Nation guarantees equal access for children and adults to instruction, vocational training and culture. The provision of free, public and secular education at all levels is a duty of the State.

C.    Constitution of 4 October 1958

Article 1
France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis.
Statutes shall promote equal access by women and men to elective offices and posts as well as to professional and social positions.

Article 3
National sovereignty shall vest in the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives and by means of referendum.
No section of the people nor any individual may arrogate to itself, or to himself, the exercise thereof.
Suffrage may be direct or indirect as provided for by the Constitution. It shall always be universal, equal and secret.
All French citizens of either sex who have reached their majority and are in possession of their civil and political rights may vote as provided for by statute.

Article 4
Political parties and groups shall contribute to the exercise of suffrage. They shall be formed and carry on their activities freely. They shall respect the principles of national sovereignty and democracy.
They shall contribute to the implementation of the principle set out in the second paragraph of article 1 as provided for by statute.
Statutes guarantee the pluralistic expression of opinions and the equitable participation of political parties and groups in the democratic life of the Nation.