Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Trash collection goes high tech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to escalating violence in Gaza

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win World Cup

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israel warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘an homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

France

Parisian women finally 'allowed' to wear trousers

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-04

Women in Paris have been officially banned from wearing trousers since 1799. However, France’s Minister for Women’s Rights (pictured, wearing trousers) has revoked the law calling it a “museum piece.”

An archaic by-law banning Parisian women from wearing trousers has finally been repealed 214 years after it was originally introduced.

The November 1799 decree stipulated that any woman wishing to wear men’s clothing in the French capital had to seek official permission from the city authorities.

It was amended two times a century later, when women were given the freedom to don “pantalons” [trousers] if they were “holding the handlebars of a bicycle or the reins of a horse.”

The decree was passed when the working class fashion of wearing long trousers (as opposed to the aristocratic knee-length “culottes”) became a symbol of the French revolution. The rule therefore symbolically barred women from the revolutionary rank and file, known at the time as the “sans-culottes”.

‘A museum piece’

In 2010, a group of Green Party lawmakers began a campaign to get the absurd by-law, held in the archives of the Paris Prefecture [police headquarters] and technically still in force, struck off permanently.

The group faced surprising resistance from the prefecture, which considered the effort “removing a piece of judicial archaeology” a “waste of time”.

A fresh application for the decree to be officially removed from the prefecture’s official documentation was made in 2012 by a member of parliament for the opposition UMP party.

This time, the request was taken seriously, and the 1799 law was last week officially confirmed null and void.

French Minister for Women’s Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the rule was “incompatible with the principles of equality between men and women that are written into the constitution, as well as in France’s European engagements.”

“Because of this incompatibility, this by-law is implicitly repealed,” she added. “It has absolutely no legal effect. The document is nothing but a museum piece.” 

Date created : 2013-02-04

  • FRANCE

    French snap up ‘sexy’ govt minister’s sailor shirt

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's president is an 'imbecile', Karl Lagerfeld says

    Read more

  • ART

    Paris show looks back at Helmut Newton's 'Porno Chic'

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)