Sri Lanka has revoked a 38-year ban on selling alcohol to women and employing them in places where the drinks are produced and sold. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed the notification revoking the ban to restore gender equality and promote tourism, a government statement said.
The ban had been in force since 1979, the early years of Sri Lanka embracing an open market economy. The government also decided to allow liquor outlets to stay open an hour later, until 10 p.m. While the previous law was not always strictly enforced, many Sri Lankan women have welcomed the change. Women took to social media to thank the government for its decision. 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.
While the move has been widely welcomed, some argue that it might lead to more women becoming addicted to alcohol.
In Sri Lanka, a majority of women traditionally choose not to drink alcohol as they see it as contrary to Sri Lankan culture.
However in 2016, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who runs an anti-alcohol campaign in the country, said that alcohol consumption among Sri Lankan women had increased “drastically” in recent years.
Courtesy of dailynews.lk