Parisian Women Can Now Legally Wear Pants

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Parisian Women Can Now Legally Wear Pants
Wed 06-02-2013

Until last week, it was against the law for females in the Paris to wear pants! 

Here is what the Huffington Post reported:

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France's minister for women's rights, made the law, which dates back to 1799, just after the French Revolution officially null and void, the Telegraph reported.

The original purpose of the law, first decreed by Paris' police chief, was to keep women from dressing like and thus being mistaken for male revolutionaries, the Raw Story reported. The law was amended a few times, including once in 1892, when an exception was added for women "holding the reins of a horse" and again in 1909 for women riding bicycles.

When Green Party lawmakers tried to repeal it in 2010, officials at Paris police headquarters, where the original copy of the by-law is held, protested that repealing it would mean "removing a piece of judicial archaeology."

The police's other excuse for objecting to a repeal was that it was a "waste of time".

A 2012 request by the UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire) finally resulted in Vallaud-Belkacem's action last week. The minister said that the bill belongs "in a museum," not current law.
Still, the fact that the Parisian law has hung around this long evokes France's not-exactly-progressive approach to women's rights. French women didn't get the vote until 1944, and the nation was ranked the worst country for women in Western Europe in a 2012 World Economic forum report.

In her statement last week, Vallaud-Belkacem seemed to address that imbalance: "This ordinance is incompatible with the principles of equality between women and men."