My first thought was that it was supposed to be more modest but if you think about it even long skirts probably look more arousing than trousers.
Also during most times of history women used to work a lot too and isn't it simply more practical to wear pants, no matter what kind of work you are doing?
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Actually, the issue is that both men and women once wore robes or toga type things.
However, as you pointed out, pants work better for working. So men switched to pants.
However, women worked at things that didn't require pants, because it wasn't hard labor.
Thus men wore pants, and women stayed with what they always wore. A woman wearing pants was a woman who was saying she was doing work that a man should be doing.
From there the woman wear versus men wear thing gets more complex due to cultural reasons for clothes.0