The Sri Lankan government has lifted a ban on selling alcohol to women and prohibiting women from working in places where alcohol is manufactured or sold, the Ministry of Mass Media and Finance said Thursday.
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed an excise notification gazette extraordinary under the Excise Ordinance, revoking the ban.
“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.
According to a Sri Lankan law passed in the early 1950s, any alcoholic drink, including wine, could not be sold to women.
Women were also not allowed to work in any alcoholic manufacturing outlets or retail stores.
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.