On 13 July 1965, women in France became bank clients in their own right, when reforms to French Family Law were passed entitling every woman to undertake employment and open a bank account in her own name without authorisation from her husband.
What were the historical, social and legal milestones that led to this ground-breaking reform in France? How did the notion of economic and financial emancipation for women gradually take shape, from the 1804 Civil Code to the 1965 law which altered the matrimonial relationship? And how did banks adjust to this social change? We obtain answers to these questions from Sabine Effosse, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Paris Ouest La Défense and a member of the IDHES unit researching into economic and social change under the aegis of the French National Centre for Scientific Research.