New Delhi: The rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha and directions by the Speaker are being made gender neutral as a part of an effort to promote gender equality.
The gender neutral rules and directions have been vetted by the Legislative Department of the Law Ministry following a reference made by the Lok Sabha Secretariat at the initiative taken by Speaker Meira Kumar.
The Rules Committee at its sitting yesterday approved the gender neutral rules and directions documents.
The gender neutral rules and directions would come into force after approval of the House as per the laid down procedure, a statement by the Lok Sabha Secretariat said here.
In the existing rules and directions, words importing the masculine gender and masculine pronoun are taken to refer to both the genders as per Section 13 of General Clauses Act 1897.
Attempts have been made in many countries during the past couple of years to draft their laws and rules of Parliament in gender neutral and inclusive language and also to make the existing rules gender neutral.
Gender neutral language refers to the language which treats man and woman equally.
In the gender neutral language such use of masculine pronoun is avoided by using certain techniques. The gender specific words like Chairman are replaced by gender neutral word Chairperson.