Gisèle Halimi (born Zeiza Gisèle Élise Taïeb in 1927) is a French lawyer, feminist activist, and essayist.
Halimi was born in La Goulette, Tunisia on 27 July 1927 to a Jewish mother and a Berber father. She was educated at a French lycée in Tunis, and then attended the University of Paris, graduating in law and philosophy. Her childhood and the ways in which she blends a Jewish-Muslim identity are discussed in her memoir, Le lait de l'oranger. She was first married to Paul Halimi, and then to Claude Faux.
In 1948 Halimi qualified as a lawyer and has practised at the Paris bar since 1956. She acted as a counsel for the Algerian National Liberation Front, most notably for the tortured activist Djamila Boupacha in 1960, and wrote a book in 1961 (with an introduction by Simone de Beauvoir) to plead her case. She has also defended Basque terrorists, and has been counsel in many cases related to women's issues, such as the Bobigny abortion trial of 1972 which attracted national publicity.
In 1967, she chaired the Russell Tribunal, which was initiated by Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre to investigate and evaluate American military action in Vietnam.
In 1971 she founded the feminist group Choisir ("To Choose"), to protect the women who had signed the Manifesto of the 343 admitting to having illegal abortions. In 1972 Choisir formed itself into a clearly reformist body, and the campaign greatly influenced the passing of the law allowing contraception and abortion carried through by Simone Veil in 1974.
In 1981 she was elected to the French National Assembly, as an independent Socialist, and was Deputy for Isère until 1984. Between 1985 and 1987 she was a French legate to UNESCO.
In 1998 she was a founding member of ATTAC.
- Djamila Boupacha (Gallimard, 1962) ;
- Le procès de Burgos (1971) ;
- La cause des femmes (1973) ; ISBN 2-246-00028-9
- Avortement, une loi en procès (1973) ;
- The Right to Choose (1977); ISBN 0-7022-1433-7
- Viol, Le procès d'Aix: Choisir la cause des femmes (1978)
- Le Programme commun des femmes (1978) ; ISBN 2-246-00572-8
- Milk for the Orange Tree (1988) ; ISBN 0-7043-2738-4
- Une embellie perdue (1995) ; ISBN 2-07-073788-8
- La nouvelle cause des femmes (1997) ; ISBN 2-02-031973-X
- Fritna (1999) ; ISBN 2-259-19134-7
- La parité dans la vie politique (1999) ; ISBN 2-11-004376-8
- Avocate irrespectueuse (2002) ; ISBN 2-259-19453-2
- Le procès de Bobigny : Choisir la cause des femmes, preface by Simone de Beauvoir, new edition 2006, ISBN 2-07-077515-1 ;
- La Kahina (2006) ; ISBN 2-259-20314-0
- Ne vous résignez jamais (2009) ; ISBN 978-2-259-20941-0
- Histoire d'une passion, éditions Plon (2011). ISBN 2-259-21394-4, OCLC 706016623