Prevalence and Factors Related to Gender Based Violence among Female Students of Higher Learning Institutions in Mekelle Town, Tigray, Northern Ethiopi

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Despite the deleterious effects posing on the life of young women, the sensitiveness and stigma associated with Gender Based Violence (GBV) and lack of data have hampered full understanding and the development of appropriate interventions. Methods: Cross-sectional institution based survey, using self-administered anonymous questionnaire and focus group discussion, was conducted among college female students found in Mekelle, Northern Ethiopia in March 2007 to determine the prevalence and associated factors of gender based violence. A total of 1024 female students were involved in the study. Prevalence was calculated using frequencies and logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using SPSS statistical packages. Result: Among the respondents, the overall prevalence of GBV in lifetime and in the current year was found to be 62.1% (95%CI: 59.1, 65.1) and 40.2% (95%CI: 37.2, 43.2) respectively. Prevalence of sexual violence in lifetime, since joining college and in the current academic year was 45.4% (95%CI: 42.4, 48.4), 34.4% (95%CI: 31.5, 37.3) and 28.1% (95%CI: 25.3, 30.9) respectively where as the prevalence of physical violence in this order being 46.3% (95%CI: 43.2, 49.4), 32.3% (95%CI: 29.4, 35.2) and 26.4% (95%CI: 23.7, 29.1). Current year GBV was associated with female students who witnessed parental violence as a child, having boyfriend currently, who were sexually active at the time of the survey, with history of alcohol consumption and having drunken peers (males or/and females), whose childhood residence was in rural area and having poor school performance. In the focus group discussions both in female and male groups, it was underscored that officials’ tolerance, traditions rewarding manliness and females’ loss of confidence as how to negotiate about sexual relations were exposing girls to gender based violence even in higher learning institution. Conclusion: Based on the findings of the survey, it is concluded that gender based violence is common and serious problem among college female students in the study area. Therefore, it is recommended that GBV needs due attention and remedial action from policy makers, college officials, non-governmental organizations, parents, students and other concerned bodies. viii Programs aimed at preventing gender-based violence must address these identified factors or correlates of violence against female students



Gender Based Violence (GBV)