French forms bid adieu to 'mademoiselle'

Feb. 22, 2012 at 9:25 AM
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PARIS, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Calling a woman "mademoiselle" or asking for her maiden or married name on any official form in France is banned under an instruction issued to all ministries.

Instead, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in his instruction, all women will be known as "madame" from now on, "just like the equivalent of 'monsieur' for men, which does not prejudge their marital status," The Local in France reported Wednesday.

The neutral term "nom de famille" (family name) also will be used to eliminate the need to use either a masculine or feminine address, the instruction to ministries said.

Fillon instructed his ministers to delete the terms "as soon as possible," although officials may use existing forms to conserve spending, The Local said.

Osez le Feminisme and Les Chiennes de Garde, feminist organizations that began campaigning to remove the terms in September, welcomed the "concrete results" of their efforts.

The organizations also called on companies and private organizations to follow the country's lead "by removing the terms from their own documents."

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