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Mormon Church Now Allows Female Employees To Wear Pants

Mormon Women outside a temple

Women who work at the Mormon church's headquarters in Salt Lake City are now allowed to wear pantsuits and dress slacks instead of just skirts or dresses.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent employees a memo Wednesday about several changes, which also include expanded maternity leave and allowing men to remove their suit coats in hot weather.

Church spokesman Doug Anderson says religious leaders made the decision to help employees feel comfortable.

Debra Jenson of the Mormon women's group Ordain Women called it a positive step forward. She says anything that breaks down rigid gender roles gives her and others hope that more substantial changes are coming.

The church last year began allowing female missionaries to wear dress pants in parts of the world with mosquito-borne diseases.