10 pm Deadline: No more "Happy Hours" for women in AP

Written by: Anisha Nair
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Hyderabad, May 4: It seems as though the country is having a competition with itself to humiliate and disgrace its women in every way and as much as possible.

This was proved after Gurgaon passed an order for the organisations to not have women employees working after 8 pm and asked women to stay indoors after that time "to avoid being raped and molested".  Andhra Pradesh's latest decision was to bar women from clubs, pubs and bars after 10 at night. The reason seems to be the obvious - curb rape cases and crime against women.

The state government on Friday, notified telling clubs, pubs and bars to ask women customers to leave after 10pm or face cancellation of their liquor licences. Till now, both men and women could be served drinks in the state till 11pm.

The "Happy Hours" for women are over in AP it seems, as the notification that was signed by the excise commissioner, has also asked pubs, bars and clubs to stop serving "free drinks" to women.

According to The Telegraph, a senior police officer said the step was prompted by several incidents of drunken women quarrelling with auto drivers outside bars and clubs at night. He didn't explain why the ban targeted only women although men get involved in drunken brawls too.

Women's organisations criticised the notification as "male chauvinistic". Metros such as Calcutta and Mumbai, for instance, have no gender-based restrictions about drinking in bars or nightclubs.

"Women are not drunkards. It's unjustifiable to ban their entry after 10pm. Many women work on evening and night shifts. Such discrimination is undemocratic," said Sandya, organising secretary of the Progressive Organisation of Women, to Telegraph. Some 1.2 lakh women work in the IT and ITES sectors in and around Hyderabad most women customers of pubs and bars come from these sectors, where employees work in shifts.

It does not stop at that. AP has also banned those under 21, from these places, at any hour, despite 18 being the legal age for drinking in the country.

Later last month, Goa banned drinking liquor on beaches to avoid nuisance caused to women tourists.

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