In everyday language, many abusive and swear words are used demeaning womanhood.
Women become subject of verbal abuse in arguments and quarrels and it is not uncommon that one hurls words humiliating the other's mother or sister in such a situation.
Unfortunately, this practice is a norm in society, as people lack awareness.
Speakers expressed the views at a dialogue yesterday, saying such use of abusive words only pushes women backward and limits their surroundings.
Promoting gender sensitive language in every space is required to overcome the situation, they stressed.
The dialogue session titled “Women Shackled by Words” was part of a programme arranged by ActionAid Bangladesh at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy in Dhaka, prior to International Women's Day tomorrow.
Apart from the dialogue, the programme included an exhibition “exploring trends in use of negative and abusive languages towards women”, and a theatrical performance depicting women's feelings regarding such words.
Referring to a baseline survey conducted by ActionAid in 2014, Kashfia Feroz, its manager for Women's Rights and Gender Equity, said country's 88 percent women in Bangladesh face derogatory comments outside home.
Abusive languages and words play a key role during violence and torture against women and create tremendous pressure on their psychology, she said.
Moderating the dialogue, ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir said people should be careful with their choice of words as words turn abusive because of their connotation.
She stressed on formulating codes of conduct against such malpractice.
As use of comments demeaning womanhood is frequent in the society, women have to be demonstrative to overcome the challenge, said Nijera Kori Coordinator Khushi Kabir.
Prof Salma Akhter of sociology department at Dhaka University said women should be treated with respect and dignity, which will also help prevent the use of derogatory words towards them.
Editor of the Daily Ittefaq and Anannya magazine Tasmima Hossain, filmmaker Shameem Akhter and journalist Shahnaz Munni, among others, spoke at the event.