Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the minister in question has said she repealed the law because it did not reflect the equal society that exists in modern France.

“This law is incompatible with the principles of equality between men and women which is laid out in the constitution and in France’s European commitments,” she said, Le Parisien reported.

The law which was first passed in November of 1799 meant that women could technically be arrested for wearing long pants anywhere in the wider city of Paris.

The law, which was rarely if ever widely applied, was further amended in the 19th century to allow trousers for women only when “the woman is holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”.

The restriction came during the upheaval following the French Revolution when the “sans culottes” movement – French revolutionary rebels – refused to wear knee-breeches and chose to wear pants, Le Parisien said.

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