Booze ban on women in Sri Lanka lifted

11th January, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

The Sri Lanka government has removed a ban on selling alcohol to women and prohibiting women from working in places where it is sold, the minister of media and finance has said.

A law preventing women from buying or selling alcohol in Sri Lanka has been lifted

Minister Mangala Samaraweera has signed an amendment to the 1955 law, which prevented women from buying or selling alcohol, after it was deemed discriminatory against women.

Announcing the change, Samaraweera said he had: “Amended the schedule in the Excise Notification no.666 of the Gazette Extraordinary of 1979 to now allow females over 18 years to purchase alcohol legally and also to be employed in licensed premises without prior approval from Excise Commissioner.”

Under the new law, women will no longer require the approval of the state’s excise commissioner in order to work or drink “in licensed premises”, including restaurants and bars.

Despite the change in the law, many women in Sri Lanka habitually choose not to drink alcohol as they see it as contrary to their religious and cultural beliefs.

However, countless individuals have taken to Twitter to praise the movement, labelling the amendment as “progressive”.

The government also allowed liquor outlets to stay open an hour later, until 10pm.

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