African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Gender-Based Violence among Married Women in Debre Tabor Town, Northwest Ethiopia: A Qualitative Study

Achenef A. Muche, Adeyemi O. Adekunle, Ayodele O. Arowojolu


Gender-based violence is one of the major public health problems in Ethiopia. This study aimed to assess the perception and attitude of the community towards gender-based violence among married women in Northwest Ethiopia. A qualitative study was conducted using the purposive sampling technique for the three focus group discussions and ten in-depth interviews among married women. Data was analyzed thematically using version 3.4 of the Open Code Software. Most of the participants perceived that gender-based violence was acceptable in the community, violent acts needed to be considerably tolerated rather than condemned. Additionally, participants perceived that the consequences of gender-based violence were mild, and its elimination was difficult. Domestic violence was found to be common, marital rape was not clearly understood, and there was no tendency to disapprove it. This study revealed that the attitude of people and traditional norms played the major role in determining the acceptability of gender-based violence on married women. Increasing awareness on the consequences of gender-based violence, strengthening of women empowerment, involving different stakeholders on the provision of education, amending and enforcing the existing laws, and providing professional help to stop or reduce violence against women are recommended. (Afr J Reprod Health 2017; 21[4]: 102-109).

Keywords: Gender-based violence, attitude, cultural norms, domestic violence, sexual coercion, rape
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