Background: Gender based violence (GBV) is a pervasive problem of most women all over
the world. Studies in our country and Africa have shown great burden of this incapacitating
problem in women. Cultural norms and beliefs play important role in perpetuating this
Objective: This study was designed to determine the overall prevalence of GBV and its
patterns in three selected high schools in Addis Ababa.
Methods: This is a cross sectional descriptive study conducted with 377 female high school
students in the selected high schools. Self administered structured questionnaires were used.
Results: The study showed that 6.2% of the students have started sexual intercourse; and of
these, 26.1% were raped cases. In addition 75.9% of the students reported being sexually
harassed. Over 26% of the respondents have undergone female genital cutting (FGC). The
incidence of household violence in the study population was 13.6%. Of the partnered female
students 23% reported to have been physically abused by their partners.
Conclusion: Social support and law enforcement to mitigate this significant public health
problem should be prioritized by the government and other organizations working on women's
Keywords: Gender based violence, Rape, Female genital cutting