The Indian government plans to legislate to reserve a third of the seats in parliament for women.
The cabinet has adopted a bill, which will now be put before the lower and upper houses of parliament for consent.
Women currently occupy 59 seats out of 545 in the lower house and 21 out of 250 in the upper house.
Previous attempts to introduce such a quota failed, in 1996 and 1998, according to the BBC.
Panchayats - governing bodies in towns and villages - already reserve a portion of their seats for women.