Thu, Mar 07, 2019 7:07

88 prcnt women face absve words otsd hm in BD


Most women face offensive language when they go out in Bangladesh, a study has found

Most women face offensive language when they go out in Bangladesh, a study has found.

ActionAid Bangladesh revealed the findings of the research at a program, ‘Women Shackled by Words’, in Dhaka on Wednesday.

According to the report, ‘Safe Cities for Women’, 88 percent of Bangladeshi women face abusive words outside home, Kashfia Feroz, an official with the NGO, said.

The study was conducted on 800 women and 400 men in seven divisions of the country from 2014 to 2017.

As many as 86 percent women get sexually harassed by drivers or their helpers while 69 percent by shopkeepers and salesmen, the study says.

Professor Salma Akhter, who teaches sociology at Dhaka University, said, “Women are shackled by words from birth to death. Most of the slangs are based on words tied to women.”

The teacher also thinks that the media and literature portray women as weak.

“Women are presented as weak in different entertainment-based programs. Even in literature, women are portrayed as a symbol of sacrifice. Men are compared with tiger and lion and women with snake and deer,” she said.

 ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir said language is used unconsciously to belittle women at home and outside so that they cannot advance psychologically and socially.

“Women must consider themselves human beings first to change this mindset,” she said.

Rights activist Khushi Kabir said gender-based use of words should be stopped.

Tasmima Hossain, Editor, the Daily Ittefaq, emphasised the need for a policy for the media to bar them from using insensitive words about women.

TV channel News24’s Chief News Editor Shahnaz Munni said the mainstream media have changed in the use of words related to women, but the scenario is the opposite on social media.

“Women face an unimaginably huge amount of unprintable words on social media,” she said.

The speakers at the program recommended raising awareness among children about positive use of language in order to prevent the use of offensive words towards women and to be more careful about presenting women in textbooks.

They also stressed changing the process of socialization of children, making specific guidelines on use of language for academic purpose, and taking step to ensure women empowerment.