UCD SCHOOL OF APPLIED SOCIAL SCIENCE
WORKING PAPER SERIES 2012
Women’s Experiences of Gender Based Violence in Tigray, Ethiopia. Summary Report
Dr Muireann Ní Raghallaigh & Dr Mary Allen
WP 23 January 2012
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN BELFIELD DUBLIN 4
Women’s Experiences of Gender Based Violence in Tigray, Ethiopia.
Summary Report for the Vincentian Lay Missionaries (Ireland) and the Daughters of Charity (Ethiopia).
Authors: Mary Allen and Muireann Ní Raghallaigh School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin, Ireland.
Focus group facilitators: Sr. Kassa Zigta, Rozina Ukubayohannes, and Tesfanesh Gebremeskel.
Summary of Findings. This study was carried out in two locations within the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. Four focus groups were used to discuss with local women the forms, consequences and causes of the violence experienced by women. The primary findings of the study focused on rape both within and outside marriage, HIV, physical and emotional abuse, poverty and the implications of lack of access to the legal system and lack of education. Forms of violence and oppression Sexual violence was the form of violence that was spoken about in most depth. The accounts of the participants indicate that this form of violence is commonplace. The women spoke about marital rape, which is not a crime in Ethiopia. As one women described this form of abuse: “My husband likes sex too much; he is also elder and more experienced than me. And he knew all sorts of sex acts. He was demanding much sex that I couldn’t cope with, it was a tormenting experience. Earlier I have informed my uncle about my situations and he has discussed the issue with my husband. His answer was: ‘The reason I chose a very young girl was in order for her to satisfy me.’ …I have informed to my uncle and elders that I am being sexually abused. Then I got divorced for it was beyond what I can bear. Such types of offences do occur but they are not known because...