Female bartenders in India are rare, to say the least. I know I’ve never seen one in Bangalore in all my years of debauchery. However, that’s all set to change in Kerala because, gender equality, as Bevco-run retail liquor outlets along with beer and wine parlours, could soon see women waiting tables or dispensing the drink of your choice.
The state’s excise department is planning to amend Kerala Abkari shops disposal rules (2002) and foreign liquor rules (1953) so that restrictions imposed on women from undertaking employment in bar hotels, beer and wine parlours, Bevco outlets and clubs will be removed. The proposal in this regard will be sent to the government soon for ratification.
Rules 9A, 16, 20, 27A and 36 of foreign liquor rules and rule 37 of Kerala Abkari shops disposal rules clearly lay out that no women should be employed in any capacity (intense) in a toddy shop, foreign liquor outlet including Bevco and beer and wine shops or clubs.
Clearly, that kind of violates a woman’s constitutional rights, hence, the excise department is trying to change the rules following two high court rulings on the subject in favour of women.
Perhaps this step would lead to women feeling more comfortable being seen at a liquor establishment in Kerala as well as squash gender stereotypes (female bartenders, YASS). I mean, regardless of gender, we all could use a cold one at the end of the day.