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Assessment of Sexual Harassment and Associated factors Among Grade 9-12 Female Students at Schools in Ambo District, Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia
ISSN: 2376-127X
Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health
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Assessment of Sexual Harassment and Associated factors Among Grade 9-12 Female Students at Schools in Ambo District, Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia

Ejeta Eshetu*
Ambo University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ambo, Ethiopia
Corresponding Author : Ejeta Eshetu
Ambo University, College of Medicine
and Health Sciences, Ambo, Ethiopia
Tel: 251910147242
Received: February 01, 2014; Accepted: April 09, 2015; Published: April 10, 2015
Citation: Eshetu E (2015) Assessment of Sexual Harassment and Associated factors Among Grade 9-12 Female Students at Schools in Ambo District, Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopia. J Preg Child Health 2:145. doi: 10.4172/2376-127X.1000145
Copyright: © 2015 Eshetu E. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author ands source are credited.

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Research question: What is the prevalence of the sexual harassment and various factors influencing it in school?

Setting: Secondary and preparatory school of Ambo district.

Study Design: Institutional based cross-sectional study design with qualitative study design.

Participant: All female students from grade nine to twelve found in Ambo Secondary and Preparatory School (n=414)

Methodology: out of 1631 regular female students in the Schools, 414 were selected by stratified sampling technique. Data were collected using structured pre tested questionnaires with Focus group discussion guide and entered into EPI Info then exported to stastical package for social sciences for analysis.

Result: Prevalence of sexual harassment among female students in school through their school life and past twelve months were 147(35.5%) and 138(33.3%), respectively. Having peer relationship problem, parents not living together and had ever chewed khat were statistically significant with last twelve months sexual harassment in school. Therefore, ongoing awareness creation, preventive measure, and law enact are essential.

Sexual harassment; Students in School; Female; Ambo
Sexual harassment is typically defined as a form of unwanted or unwelcome sexual attention and is considered as a form of gender-based violence. If sexual harassment is among youth encompasses acts that are sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity. It also create a hostile or abusive educational environment.
Harassment and discrimination to female in school are often unnoticed types of violence that frequently makes it difficult for affected individuals and groups to realize their full capacity [1].
According to study conducted in Jimma zone on violence against school girl the major harasser and other unwelcome sexual advances and hostile environments against the school girls were 50.7% of street wanderers, followed by 31.29% of school boys and 17.4% of teachers [2].
The objectives of this study to assess the prevalence and factors associated with sexual harassment at school among grade nine to twelve female students in Ambo Secondary and Preparatory Schools in Ambo District.
Methods and Materials
School based cross-sectional study design supplemented with qualitative research method was conducted in Ambo district in 2012/13.
A stratified sampling technique with simple random sampling was employed for the selection of the sampling units. A structured pretested questionnaire was used to collect the data. The data were entered into EPI Info version 3.5 and exported to SPSS version 16 for analysis.
Two Focus Group Discussions were conducted using focus group discussion guide questions during discussion. Members of FGD were selected using purposive sampling technique.
A total of 414 female students were included in the study from which 329 (79.5%) were from urban. The mean age of respondents was (17.17 +1.67 years) with an age range of 14-25 years (Table 1).
Parental socio-economic characteristics
Two hundred and ninety one participants (70.3%) reported that their parents are living together whereas 123 (29.7%) reported that they are separated.
History of respondents’ Substances use
Drinking alcohol, chewing khat and smoking cigarette/tobacco ever in their life were reported by 79 (19.1%), 43 (10.4%) and 8 (1.9%) respondents, respectively. Regarding to the frequency of substances use 28 (35%) and 27 (62.8%) of respondents were using alcohol and khat frequently, respectively.
Prevalence of Sexual Harassment
Among the total 414 female students 147 (35.5%) and 138 (33.3%) of them experienced sexual harassment throughout school life and in the last twelve months in the schools, respectively. Out of 138 (33.3%) who reported sexual harassment in the last twelve months, 66 (47.8%) were verbal and 49 (35.5%) were physical sexual harassments. Among female students who experienced sexual harassment in the last twelve months, 84 (60.9%) feared harassment in the school and 54 (39.1%) never feared being sexual harassed in the school.
Perpetrator of sexual harassment
The main perpetrators of twelve months sexual harassment in school were male students 80 (58%) (Figure 1).
Reported place of sexual harassment in school
Sexual harassment mostly occurred in the schools compound 68 (49.3%), followed by in classroom 57 (41.3%), and in the office 27 (19.7%). Similar place mentioned during focus group discussion.
Experiences of unwanted sexual behaviour in the school
The most common unwanted sexual behaviors that were experienced by sexual harassed female students in the schools were repeatedly told sexual stories or jokes 70 (50.7%), attempts to comment on sexual life 65 (47%), ask for date, drink or dinner though the answer “no” 64 (46.4%), attempt to established romantic relationship despite efforts of discourage 63 (45.7%) and made offensive remarks about appearance or body 61 (44.2%) (Table 2).
Factors associated with sexual harassment
In multivariate logistic regression analysis, sexual harassment was associated significantly and independently with residence, marital status, having peer relationship problem in school, parents living together and ever khat chewing only (Table 3).
During focus group discussion members of discussant were mention being assertive (confident) female students, being academically outstanding female students, being cosmetic and immodest dressing style is some of the factors associated with harassment.
The prevalence of sexual harassment among female students was 35.5% throughout their schools life and 33.3% in the last twelve months at the schools. The prevalence of twelve months sexual harassment in the schools was higher than the findings of study conducted in Canada where the prevalence rate was 23% [3-5]. However, it is lower than the studies conducted in 2005 in Sweden [3].
study conducted in Kenya on school girls revealed that prevalence of sexual harassment in school was 60% which is inconsistent with the corresponding values of this findings [6]. The twelve months sexual harassment prevalence of the study was not in line with the studies conducted in 2008 in Addis Ababa school, in 2003 in Dabat, and in Jimma Zone high school female students where the prevalence revealed that 74%, 44% and 73.4%, respectively [2,4,5]. One of the main possible reasons causing the different number of sexual harassment cases could be similar unwelcome sexual advance considered differently in different setting and in different researches.
In this study, the common types of sexual harassment in the schools were verbal sexual harassment and which were comparable with 49.8% and 31.1% from the study conducted in Jimma zone on high school female students [2,7-12].
Our study identified being unmarried, having a parents not living together, Khat chewing. Living in urban and having unfriendly relationship with peer to be significant associated with sexual harassment [13-17].
The study identified high prevalence of sexual harassment at school among female students and factors such as not have parents living together, khat chewing, unmarried, peer relationship problem and living in urban showed statistical significant association with sexual harassment at school. Therefore, for improvement school environment ongoing awareness creation, preventive measure, participatory intervention, counselling, and awareness program for female students.
We would like to thank University of Gondar for funding this study.



Tables and Figures at a glance

Table Table Table
Table 1 Table 2 Table 3

Figures at a glance

Figure 1
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