The 1955 law that prohibited women in Sri Lanka to buy or sell alcoholic drinks stands null and void today. In a progressive move, the Sri Lankan government allows women to purchase alcohol and also work in alcohol manufacturing industries, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Mass Media and Finance said this week, TNIE reported.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed an excise notification gazette extraordinary under the Excise Ordinance repealing the ban, Xinhua Net reported.

“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,” Samaraweera said.

This amendment incurs that women will no longer have to seek permission from the excise commissioner of state to work in an alcohol company or drink in “licensed premises”.

The government accepted that the law shows bias against women, which is why they agreed upon amending the 1955 law. While authorities did not follow the previous law strictly, Sri Lankan women have backed the amendment.

Women took to social media to thank the government for its focus to improve gender justice in laws

Women took to social media to thank the government for its focus to improve gender justice in laws. However, there is also a section of the society that believes that opening channels for women to drink openly will push more women towards alcohol addiction.

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Sri Lankan women are conservative in terms of drinking alcohol and large number of women rebukes it. However, women alcohol drinkers are on a rise in the country. In 2016 Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who runs an anti-alcohol campaign in the country reported the increase of women enjoying alcohol.

“We all are aware that drug abuse has become a pressing national issue,” he said at the time, BBC quoted.

Closer home in India, there is a general taboo regarding women drinking alcohol. However, there is no law stopping a particular gender from consuming alcohol.

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