French Government Strikes Down 200-Year-Old Pants Ban for Women

The World

Shopping in Paris. (Photo: Natalia Osiatynska/Flickr)

Ladies of Paris no longer have to fear being arrested for wearing pants. A 200-year-old law preventing Parisian women from wearing trousers, has been struck from the books. The law was passed in November 1800 prohibited Parisian women from "dressing like a man" unless she received permission from the local police. Host Marco Werman talks with New York Times' Paris-based Elaine Sciolino, who credits the new Socialist government under President Francois Hollande with the law's revocation. Scoliono says the there had been attempts to modify the law in 1892 and 1909 that would have allow women to wear trousers if they were holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse. Last May, a 37-year-old politician, Cecile Duflot, attending a cabinet meeting while wearing jeans, was criticized. Sciolino called pants a safer choice for Parisian women than wearing a skirt. She said many times, women who wear skirts to work are sexually harassed.