The much-awaited women's reservation bill will be brought to the Lok Sabha soon, the government said on Saturday.
"The Women's Reservation Bill will be a reality soon under the Chairmanship of Madam Speaker. Any amendment will also be taken up at a subsequent period. The House should not reflect a male chauvinist approach," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said in Lok Sabha, replying to a debate on the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010.
The amendments to the proposed bill are required to meet the demands of parties like RJD and SP, who are seeking quota within quota for women belonging to scheduled castes, tribes, OBCs and minorities.
The Constitution (Amendment) Bill has already been passed by the Rajya Sabha with the Congress, BJP and Left joining hands much to the discomfiture of several other parties seeking a sub-quota.
Referring to a large number of pending cases which affected women and children, Moily said his Ministry was working on classifying pending cases pertaining to women and children.
"We will do prioritisation of such cases, whether they are pending in local courts or the Supreme Court. This needs to be done so that women and children do not have to wait too long to get justice," he said.
With all parties supporting the Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, the House unanimously passed the measure which paves the way for women to get equal rights in guardianship and adoption of children. Among other things, the amendment would help "fit" mothers to become guardians of minor which was not the case so far.
The bill, passed in Rajya Sabha earlier this week, amends the Guardians and Wards Act (GWA) 1890 and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (HAMA) 1956.
It aims at including "mother along with father as a fit person to be appointed as guardian so that courts shall not appoint any other person as a guardian of minor if either of the parents is fit to be the guardian of such minor."
The measure, which would make the process gender-neutral, also aims at removing hurdles in the way of a married woman to adopt. She can also give a son or daughter for adoption.
Supporting the Bill, Chandu Lal Sahu (BJP) said it would help address the problem of exploitation of women which was prevalent even after 63 years of Independence.
Congress member Girija Vyas, who also heads the National Commission for Women, complimented the government for bringing the bill and said this would have far reaching effect on implementing gender equality.
She also wanted laws to tackle growing cases of 'honour killings' in line with the law against Sati.