Ideogrammic compound (會意): 女(“woman”) + 又(“hand”) – a hand capturing and ordering a woman around. 女 (OC *naʔ, *nas) may also be phonetic.
Some oracle bone script forms (not depicted above) are pictographic (象形), showing a person (probably a woman) with hands crossed at the back, as opposed to 女 which depicts a woman clasping her hands in front of the body.
This is the common form of this character. The regular form is 伮.
The term is de facto used to refer to any animal (including the human) in the third person, in a disrespectful manner. The use of the term to translate the English it, or to refer to an inanimate object, is rather artificial, and mostly found in awkward (but common) translation of other languages.