Sri Lanka re-imposes ban on women buying alcohol after sexist opposition

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s finance ministry has withdrawn a gazette notice that ended a discriminatory ban on women after a male-dominate cabinet requested Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to re-impose it.

"The Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mr. Mangala Samaraweera on the request of the Cabinet of Ministers today withdrew the two gazette notifications issued under the Excise Ordinance earlier which had lifted the ban on women buying liquor and working in places where liquor is manufactured or sold in addition to relaxing the business hours of liquor establishments," the finance ministry said in a statement.

The President had also made a public announcement calling for the re-imposition of the discriminatory rule.

Sri Lanka’s post-independence rulers have passed a number of discriminatory laws, on sections of citizens including on language.

Several women have gone to court saying the 1979 rule on alcohol was discriminatory.

There have been concerns that Sri Lanka’s constitution does not give adequate safeguards of absolute guarantees of equality to citizens, allowing discriminatory laws to be passed or regulations to be issued.

The rule banning women from buying or working in places where alcohol is sold was a regulation issued under an excise law. (Colombo/Jan18/2018)

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