Women in Paris Can Wear Pants: Previous Ban From 1799 Repealed

A 1700s law that banned women from wearing pants freely in Paris has been repealed.

The law was first drafted in 1799 by a Paris police chief that deemed it unacceptable for a woman to "dress like a man," according to one report. A second report stated that the law "aimed at separating women from the rank and file of revolutionaries who often wore pants."

Whatever the reason, the law has continued to stand for the past 214 years. That is, until now. Women's rights activists have successfully managed to repeal the law for good after years of only minor changes to the regulation.

The first change was made in 1892 and allowed women to wear trouser like pants "as long as the woman is holding the reins of a horse" a Telegraph report revealed. A second decree was passed in 1902, extending the rule to women riding bicycles or holding the handlebars of a bike. In all other cases, women who wished to wear pants were forced to seek permission from Paris authorities.

Various attempts throughout history to have the law repealed have been denied, including a 1969 appeal pushing for women's equality.

"It is unwise to change texts which foreseen or unforeseen variations in fashion can return to the fore," a police chief at the time responded.

But enough is enough, says one prominent women's rights activist. The French Minister for Women's Rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, said Monday the law 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."

The AFP confirmed on Monday, that repeal of the law had been officially granted.