France drops mademoiselle status


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The Independent Online

Forget what you learned in French class about "madame" and "mademoiselle" - the French government now says women's marital status should not matter - at least when it comes to the country's far-reaching bureaucracy.

A new circular from the prime minister's office orders officials to phase out the use of mademoiselle on administrative documents.

Until now, a woman has been required to identify herself as a married madame or an unmarried mademoiselle on everything from tax forms to insurance claims and voting cards.

France offers no neutral option like the English Ms.

French men do not face this issue: their only option is "monsieur", married or not.

Feminist groups have been pushing for the abolition of the mademoiselle option for months and hailed the move.