Background: Sexual harassment is a common problem among the lives of women and became a public health problem all over the world. Almost all females encounter sexual harassment in many different forms. Ethiopia is one among the countries which faces this problem, however limited studies has been conducted in this regard in the country as well as in the study area.
Objective: This study was conducted to assess sexual harassment and associated factors among female students of preparatory schools in Sodo Town, Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia.
Methods: School-based cross sectional study design was employed. Simple random sampling method was carried out to select study participants from both 11th and 12th grades. Data were collected using Self-administered questionnaire among purposely selected female students of the school. The collected data was checked for completeness and consistency. Data entry was done using Epi info version 3.5.1 then the data were exported to SPSS version 20 statistical software for analysis. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used
Result: The prevalence of sexual harassment among the study participant was 32.6 % (95 % CI: 28, 36). Educated fathers, 53.0% (AOR=0.470, CI=0.230, 0.962), students who lived with mothers only (AOR=2.202, CI=1.302, 3.725), sexual jocks (AOR=1.586, CI=1.013, 2.484), relationship between teachers and students, 70.3% (AOR=0.297, CI=0.198, 0.446) and orienting students about sexual harassment either in school or other organization 34.2% (AOR=0.676, CI=0.493, 0.925) was significantly associated with sexual harassment.
Conclusion & Recommendation: There is high prevalence of sexual harassment in the study area. As the result, concerned bodies have to make school environment free from sexual harassment for female students working on prevention and designing strategies, capacitating parents through training or orientation, empowering healthy relationship among students for mutual benefit. .
Keywords: Females, Sodo town, School, Sexual harassment