- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2013

It’s been 214 years, but Parisian women have finally prevailed: They have won the legal right to wear pants.

Lawmakers approved the repeal of a 1799 law that required women who wished to wear men’s clothes within city limits first seek and receive permission from Paris authorities, according to Agence France-Presse.

The law – aimed at separating women from the rank and file of revolutionaries who often wore pants – was amended around 1900. Then, women were allowed the right to wear trouser-like “pantaloons,” if they were “holding the handlebars of a bicycle or the reins of a horse,” according to AFP.

But an outright repeal has been a long time coming.

Green Party lawmakers pushing in 2010 for an overturn of the law faced a surprising level of resistance from authorities who saw the effort as a legislative waste of time, AFP reported.

In announcing the repeal in Monday’s AFP report, French Minister for Women’s Rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem called the law “incompatible with the principles of equality between men and women that are written into the constitution, as well as in France’s European engagements.”


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