The Revolution was going to consecrate this state of mind, manifested by many masons, with the defence of the Rights of Mankind and of the Citizen, and the rejection of all dogmatism.
The 19th century was the battleground for the extension of rights, notably for mutual respect and the thoughts of other people, and, above all, the right of women to obtain equal civic rights.
It is in this field that, by creating the International Order of Co-Freemasonry “LE DROIT HUMAIN”, Maria Deraismes et Georges Martin were going to shatter the established order of many centuries, and begin the liberation of women.
“If it is true that it is the English who brought masonry to France, then it is the French today who bring it back to England invigorated, completed and strengthened by the admission of a woman into the Lodge at the side of a man.”
Maria Deraismes, journalist and fighter for the rights of women and children and Dr. Georges Martin, Senator, General Councillor for the Dept. Of the Seine, Municipal Councillor of Paris, undertook campaigns in favour of the civic and political rights of women, the defence of the rights of oppressed children, against clerical intolerance and for the establishment of a neutral school respecting the ideas of everyone.
Maria Deraismes was initiated – on 14th January 1882 – into Lodge “Les Libres Penseurs” of Pecq , a small village to the west of Paris. She was the first female Freemason, symbolising initiatory equality.
Eleven years later, on 4th April 1893, Maria Deraismes et Georges Martin, a well known mason, created in Paris the first co-masonic Lodge. Out of this co-masonic Lodge came the birth of the Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise “Le Droit Humain”, establishing the equality of men and women, out of which, later, came the birth of the International Order of Co-Freemasonry “LE DROIT HUMAIN”.
Maria Deraismes died on 6th February 1894, and the task of organising and developing “LE DROIT HUMAIN” fell on Dr. Martin. His energetic will placed him beyond frontiers, ethnic groups, religions and cultures, and he very quickly founded Lodges outside France: in Switzerland and in England.
LDH spread throughout Europe before sowing itself in other parts of the world. “LE DROIT HUMAIN” was built out of a marvellous dream, to unite humanity despite all the barriers, ethnic groups, geopolitics, religions and cultures.
Excerpt from our Le Droit Humain International http://www.droit-humain.org