The two former first ladies Bruni-Sarkozy and Trierweiler were joined by various stars of the stage and screen including actress Léa Seydoux, who starred in the award-winning movie Blue is the Warmest Colour, and British singer Jane Birkin.
The women held up signs in French that read “Rendez-nous nos filles” or Bring Back Our Girls, which has become the slogan of the campaign for the kidnapped schoolgirls to be released.
“We demand the liberation of the young girls and we demand protection for all women,” said Trierweiler.
“It’s always women who pay the price of war or conflict,” added the former partner of François Hollande.
Trierweiler also called for greater security in high-risk areas around the paths that girls use to walk to school.
French director and writer Lisa Azuelos added: “It is impossible to abandon schoolgirls and leave them in the hands of barbarians.”
Previous reports that actress Julie Gayet, with whom the French president famously had an affair, was also due to turn up at the protest, proved to be wide of the mark.
The recent kidnapping of 223 schoolgirls by militants from the group Boko Haram has left the world shocked.
On Monday the group issued a video in which it demanded the release of Boko Haram prisoners in exchange for some of the abducted girls.
Below French actress Léa Seydoux pictured second from the right.
— michele sebbag (@michelesebbag) May 13, 2014