Mademoiselle title to vanish

The change comes after long-running campaigns

Prime Minister calls for official forms to be redesigned to get rid of outmoded and sexist questions and titles

MADEMOISELLE is on the way out as official forms are to be redesigned to get rid of sexist questions and titles.

Ministers and prefects have been told in a circular from the Prime Minister's office to drop wherever possible the terms Mademoiselle, Nom d’épouse, Nom patronymique and Nom de jeune fille from documents, although old forms will continue to be used until supplies run out.

The term Madame will be used as the direct feminine equivalent of Monsieur where possible. Also, nom de famille and nom d'usage will be introduced as nom d'époux and nom d'épouse no longer cover the circumstances where widows or divorcees keep their married names.

Feminist groups Osez le Féminisme and Les Chiennes de Garde have been fighting for years to get the terms dropped saying that mademoiselle was discriminatory and highlighting that men were never asked to state their marital status.

They stepped up their campaign last autumn and got almost immediate results as Solidarity Minister Roselyne Bachelot called on Prime Minister François Fillon to get rid of the term mademoiselle as it was an “intrusion into women’s private life”.

Osez le Féminisme and Les Chiennes de Garde greeted the decision, saying they hoped it would get concrete results as the usage has survived different attempts through the years to get rid of it, with ministerial circulars in 1967 and 1974 being ignored.

Ms Bachelot said it was an "end to this form of discrimination between men and women".

Women's group Paroles de Femmes, however, said that women were more concerned about another form of sex discrimination - in the wage packet. President Olivia Cattan said the word mademoiselle had never annoyed her and an Ifop poll had found its usage was listed bottom of the main concerns of women today - 5% against 84% calling for equal pay.

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