Vulnerability to Reproductive Health Risks among On-street Women in Shashemene Town, West Arsi Zone, Ethiopia

  • Bewunetu Zewude
Keywords: Abortion; HIV/AIDS; On-street women; Reproductive health; Risk


Researches reveal that women living on the streets are less likely to benefit from
basic reproductive health services as living in the poorest segment of the society. The
present research was meant to assess vulnerability to reproductive health risks among onstreet
women in Shashemene town. A cross-sectional study which involves both
quantitative and qualitative design was used. A total of 163 on-street women, selected on
the basis of purposive sampling procedure, have participated in the study. Both qualitative
and quantitative data were collected using survey, non-participant observation and in-depth
interview methods. While quantifiable data were entered into SPSS version 20 for further
descriptive and inferential analysis. Qualitative data were transcribed, organized, and
narrated based on recurring themes in the data. The prevalence of rape and abortion was
found to be low (11.5% & 9.45%, respectively). Awareness about HIV/AIDS and its way
of transmission is very high, with a fascinating experience of undergoing voluntary testing
and counseling. Correlation statistics have shown that patterns of undertaking voluntary
testing and counseling was significantly associated to marital status (.186, P<0.05),
educational status (-.183, P<0.05), and the number of children a woman gave birth to (.204,
P<0.05). In relation to shelter and their overall living conditions, on-street women in the
study area were found to be highly vulnerable to reproductive health risks. Hence, psychosocial
support, including the provision of reproductive health services to the target group,
deserves a serious attention.

Author Biography

Bewunetu Zewude

Wolaita Sodo University, Department of Sociology