Eran says time has come to change laws that discriminate against women


By Saman Indrajith

The time had come for amending certain laws to eradicate gender-discrimination against women in Sri Lanka, State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremaratne told Parliament yesterday (08).

Participating in the Second Reading Debate on Excise (Amendment) Bill, the State Minister said that Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had recently brought in a Special Gazette notification to lift the ban on women buying alcohol with the intention of removing gender discrimination against women.

"Today (08 March), we mark the International Women’s Day.  How could we mark such a day without ensuring the rights of women? Both men and women should have equal rights, but even now there are several laws which devalue women in our country. I think this situation should be changed and errors rectified to avoid discrimination," the state minister said.

He said irrespective of gender differences every adult had a right to buy alcohol if she or he wanted. It was entirely a personal decision. No one had a right to interfere with someone else’s rights. The government should not impose laws to curtail civil liberties.  The government could not interfere with citizens’ personal choices to impose its agendas on citizens, Wickremaratne said.

Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranawithana, participating in the debate, suggested that instead of the Finance Minister or any other minister, it should be the Women’s Affairs Minister who should spotlight laws which prevented women from having equal rights.

He said there were several laws which had led to discrimination against women in Sri Lanka and such laws should be amended as soon as possible.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...