Women wearing trousers
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Since the adoption of trousers in Western Europe in Late Antiquity, trousers have been largely worn by men and not by women until the early 20th century.
Nineteenth century 
The Wigan pit brow girls in the Victorian society wore trousers for their dangerous work in the coal mines. They wore skirts over their trousers and rolled them up to their waist to keep them out of the way.
Twentieth century 
During World War I, women wore their husbands' (suitably altered) trousers while they took on male jobs, and increasingly wore trousers as leisurewear in the 1920s and 30s. And for a period in the 1970s, trousers became quite fashionable for women. In the United States, this may be due to the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which ruled that dresses could not be required of girls. Dress codes changed in public schools across the United States. Today, though trousers are not as fashionable as previously, jeans are sometimes worn as casual wear by many women, while skirts and dresses remain more typical feminine wear.
Women working the ranches of the 19th century USA also wore trousers, for riding, and in the early 20th century aviatrices and other working women often wore trousers. Actresses Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn were often photographed in trousers from the 1930s. During World War II, women working in factories and doing other forms of "men's work" on war service wore trousers, and in the post-war era trousers were still common casual wear for gardening, socialising, and other leisure pursuits.
In Britain during the Second World War, because of the rationing of clothing, many women took to wearing their husbands' civilian clothes to work while their husbands were away in the armed forces. This was partly because they were seen as work garments, and partly to allow women to keep their clothing allowance for other uses. As the men's clothes wore out, replacements were needed, so that by the summer of 1944 it was reported that sales of women's trousers were five times more than in the previous year.
There are a number of religions that prohibit women from revealing their legs, requiring all women and often young girls to wear only trousers. The reasons behind such beliefs, which vary within each religion and culture, are generally due to modesty laws, which vary in each culture. Religion is the most common reason for a woman not to wear a skirt.
In Jewish belief, the space between a woman's legs is considered to be a private area, and therefore, must be covered by a garment. However, in other cultures wearing men's clothing is forbidden biblically under the prohibition of Lo Silbash ("A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man", Deuteronomy 22:5). In some Jewish communities, such as the Jews from Arab countries and Modern Orthodox communities, it is reasoned that trousers provide an extra form of modesty.
- Traditionalist Catholics: On 13 November 866, Pope Nicholas I wrote to King Boris I of Bulgaria: "Whether you or your women wear or do not wear trousers neither impedes your salvation nor leads to any increase of your virtue"(sive vos, sive feminae vestrae, sive deponatis, sive induatis femoralia, nec saluti officit, nec ad virtutum vestrarum proficit incrementum - Patrologia Latina, CXIX, 1002). Some members of the Society of Saint Pius X have spoken of the preference of women's wearing skirts rather than trousers. Cardinal Siri's letter has also been cited as justification for women wearing skirts and dresses. In addition, Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Church's principal theologian, also taught that "outward apparel should be consistent with the estate of the person, according to the general custom. Hence it is in itself sinful for a woman to wear man's clothes, or vice versa; and it is expressly forbidden in the Law (Deuteronomy 22)..." *Oneness Pentecostals: Pentecostal women choose to wear skirts because of the Biblical commandment that women must not wear men's clothing, however this is not mandatory.
- Old Order Mennonites: Although many contemporary Mennonites have no dress code, among traditional, conservative Mennonites, sometimes referred to as "Old Order Mennonites", long skirts or dresses covering most of the legs are required. They also wear dresses and skirts because they believe men and women should be distinguished from one another. Conservative conferences usually demand that women wear a specific style of dress. This is usually in the style of the cape dress, with a double covering or "cape". Most non-conservative conferences allow for the wearing of trousers by women.
Scottish highland dancing 
- In Scottish highland dancing, women don't wear trews, but instead either wear the Aboyne dress (for the national dances) or the kilt-based outfit for the Highland dances. However, tartan trews can be worn by women in the United States.
School uniform 
Since the increase in the Muslim population, some UK schools allow girl pupils to wear trousers, but skirts are the most common outfit in primary and secondary schools, even where the choice of trousers is given. In the late 20th century, many schools began changing their uniform rules to allow trousers for girls amidst opposition - the most publicised possibly being Whickam Comprehensive in Gateshead in 2000. Although commonly accepted, no test case is known to have been brought before the courts, making it not illegal to ban trousers as part of girls' school uniform. The rule is still enforced in most independent and selective state schools, as well as many comprehensives.
More recently, some secondary schools have attempted to ban girls from wearing inappropriately short skirts.
In California, Government Code Section 12947.5 (part of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act) expressly protects the right to wear pants.(USA word for trousers)  Thus, the standard FEHA discrimination complaint form includes an option for "denied the right to wear pants." 
In Sudan, Article 152 of the Memorandum to the 1991 Penal Code prohibits the wearing of "obscene outfits" in public. This law has been used to arrest and prosecute women wearing trousers. Thirteen women including journalist Lubna al-Hussein were arrested in Khartoum in July 2009 for wearing trousers; ten of the women pleaded guilty and were flogged with ten lashes and fined 250 Sudanese pounds apiece. One,Lubna al-Hussein considers herself a good Muslim and asserts "Islam does not say whether a woman can wear trousers or not. I'm not afraid of being flogged. It doesn't hurt. But it is insulting"
See also 
- L.W.N. Smith. Clothes Rationing in World War 2
- The Responses of Pope Nicholas I to the Questions of the Bulgars A.D. 866 (Letter 99), translated by W. L. North (1998) from the edition of Ernest Perels, in MGH Epistolae VI, Berlin, 1925, pp.568-600.
- Letter on trousers
- Men's Dress Worn By Women, Giuseppe Cardinal Siri
- Summa Theologica, II II, Q. 169, A.2
- Why do Apostolic Pentecostal women always wear dresses and have long hair?
- What Christian religions require certain types of clothing to be
- California Government Code Section 12947.5.
- Instructions to Obtain Right to Sue Notice by Mail, California Department of Fair Housing and Employment, February 2013.
- Sarah DeCapua, Malawi in Pictures, 2009, pg 7.