Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, French minister for wom-en’s rights, said the ban, imposed on November 17, 1800, was incompatible with modern French values. The municipal order required Parisian women to seek permission from the police if they wanted to “dress like a man” by wearing trousers. It was modified in 1892 and 1909 to allow women to wear trousers if they were “hol-ding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”, but had officially remained on the books.
Answering a question in the Official Journal of the French Senate, Ms Valla-ud-Belkacem said while it had not been formally struck down, the order was in effect abrogated. “This order is incompatible with the principles of equality between women and men,” she said. Pari-sian women had demanded the right to wear trou-sers during the French Revolution, when working-class revolutionaries were known as “sans-culo-ttes” for wearing trousers instead of silk-knee bree-ches (culottes) favoured by the bourgeoisie.
According to the Connexion, a campaign to scrap the outdated legislation was launched in 2010 however it was not deemed a government priority.
France’s minister of women’s rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, took up the case last year and announced the lifting of the ban this week.