A recent survey found that 88 per cent of women face derogatory comments from passers-by, while 46 per cent of them face sexual innuendos and abusive languages on a daily basis.
Among them, 86 per cent women face sexual harassment from drivers and their assistances while 69 per cent from storekeepers and sellers, it finds.
ActionAid Bangladesh conducted a survey, which was revealed on Wednesday at a programme at Shilpakala Academy in the capital.
The survey was carried out on more than 700 women from seven divisions in the country beginning in 2014 and ending in 2017.
It also found that around 45 per cent women and 18 per cent men blamed lack of respect for women for such abuses.
With the title ‘Sobdhe Jobdo Nari’ or Women Shackled by Words, ActionAid is set to celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8, calling upon all to stand against violation of women by abusive languages and promote gender sensitive language in every sphere.
‘Some media outlets, particularly online media news portals, display a weakness in using words that dishonour women,’ said News24 chief news editor Shahnaz Munni at a panel discussion at the programme.
She also said that there had been some traditional words to blame women, these must also be challenged.
‘Using some derogative words people usually refer to women as weaklings,’ said Tasmima Hossain, adding that everybody should protest against such malpractices.
‘Words itself have neutral forms but we give them gendered forms,’ said ActionAid Bangladesh country director Farah Kabir.
A code of conduct could be enacted to curb such linguistic harassment, she suggested, adding that at the end of the day everyone had to realise the psychological impact of any individual who regularly falls victim to linguistic harassment.
Moderated by Farah Kabir, Nijera Kori coordinator Khushi Kabir, filmmaker Shamim Akhter, and Shilpakala Academy director general Liaquat Ali Lucky also spoke at the occasion.
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