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Trouser ban lifted for Parisian women

French Minister for Women's Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Picture: Getty

French Minister for Women's Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Picture: Getty

  • by IAN SPARKS
 

WOMEN in Paris have finally been granted the legal right to wear trousers after being officially banned from doing so for more than 200 years.

An obscure 1799 law stated any woman in the French capital that wished to “dress like a man” must obtain special permission from the police.

The rule was relaxed by an 1892 amendment which said trousers were permitted “as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse”. It was watered down again in 1909 by a clause allowing women to wear trousers while “on a bicycle or holding it by the handlebars”.

The rule then became obsolete under 1946 legislation which made men and women equal in the eyes of the French constitution.

France’s women’s rights minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem yesterday entirely revoked the legislation, branding it a “museum piece”.

 

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