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Dhaka Tribune

Experts: Derogatory words a barrier to women empowerment

Expletive language is hampering women mentality, physically and social-ecumenically

Update : 07 Mar 2019, 12:48 AM

Derogatory remarks made towards women in and outside the house are hindering the path of women empowerment, experts said.

Addressing a program on Wednesday, experts said women’s empowerment will not come unless language is used sensibly for them.

The program tilled “Women Shackled by Words” was organized by ActionAid at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Human rights activist Khushi Kabir said: “At work, women have to continuously prove that even they are cable of doing the work. They are confined in a circle of the society through socialization.

“Words have been formed against the women; it has been made gender based. Words cannot be gender based.”

She added: “We have to stop evaluating them separately in words.”

ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir said: "A woman is insulted in and outside the house with derogatory comments so that she cannot move forward mentally and socially.

“Words, sentences, and statements should not be based on gender, but it is being used in that way.”

She added: “Like in many cases, they are introduced as women and not human beings. Knowingly and unknowingly, we land up criticizing them through language.”

Farah said: “To bring this change, women must first think of themselves as human.”

Tasmima Hossain, editor of Daily Ittefaq, said: “Our society has shackled most of the women with words.

“We probably do not care about most things. For this reason, words are insensitively used for women even in the media.”

“If we had a policy regarding it, then the matter would not have been looked upon so lightly,” editor of the oldest Bangla newspaper added.

“For decades women have been seen as weak. They have been shackled with words. There are some words that do not shackle, but destroy them,” renowned Bangladeshi director and screenwriter Shameem Akhtar said.

Addressing the program, she added: “When expletive words are used towards women, it does not reflect power; it reflects people’s dirty minds.”

Among others, Chief News Editor of New24 Shahnaz Munni and Dhaka University Social Science Department Prof Salma Akhter also spoke at the event.

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