Thirty-eight years after outlawing the sale of alcohol to women, the Sri Lankan government has revoked the ban and allowed women to buy hard drinks and work in places where they are produced and sold.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed a pertinent notification lifting the ban, with an eye to restoring gender equality and promote tourism, a government statement said.
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 & also to be employed in licenced premises without prior approval from Excise Commissioner. #LKA— Mangala Samaraweera (@MangalaLK) 10 января 2018 г.
From now on, women over the age of 18 are able to legally buy alcohol. The government also allowed liquor stores to extend their working hours until 10 p.m.
Even though the 1979 ban was not always strictly enforced, many Sri Lankan women have welcomed the change.
However, the decision may not sit well with the country’s Buddhist clergy, which is firmly against the production and sale of alcohol to anyone, irrespective of sex.