Although issues deeply rooted within Australia’s House of Parliament has been heavily challenged locally in recent months, such questions have been questioned by foreign critics.
Growing women’s anger towards Prime Minister Scott Morrison, along with allegations of sexual misconduct and a historic “men’s club” atmosphere within Parliament were detailed in a condemning New York Times article.
The publication highlighted a particularly nasty comment made by former liberal parliamentarian Julia Banks, who left parliament in 2019 after years of her complaints of bullying against women in politics falling on deaf ears.
“It’s the most unsafe workplace in the country,” Ms. Banks told Parliament’s ABC Mornings radio last month – on the same day, thousands across Australia marched for safer and fairer conditions for women.
NY Times reporter Damian Cave observed the main catalyst for the growing turmoil it was Brittany Higgins claiming in an interview with The Project that she had been raped in the office of her boss, Linda Reynolds, by a senior colleague in 2019.
Since then, four more women have claimed that they were also victims of the same man, whose identity has not been released. He was fired after the 2019 allegation and is currently subject to a police investigation.
Cave said widespread claims of old-fashioned and continuing misogyny within Australian politics frame it as “Australia’s most sexist setback, where many men have long assumed they can act like kings”.
“Women from all parties say that for years they were humiliated while trying to do their job,” he wrote.
Morrison: ‘Sexual harassment is unacceptable’
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, 39 percent of women and 26 percent of men have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace recently, Morrison told a news conference in Canberra early on Thursday.
“The events surrounding this building over the past few months have only highlighted and reinforced the seriousness of these issues, the challenge we face and the great frustration that is felt by Australians and, in particular, by women across the country,” he said.
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable. It is not only immoral and contemptible and even criminal, but particularly in the context of the Respect at Work report, it denies Australians, especially women, not only their personal security, but also economic because they are not safe at work. . “
Citing recommendations from a Respect at Work report by Commissioner for Gender Discrimination Kate Jenkins last year, Morrison said the government is working “to change culture across Australia”.
Complaints of aggression complaints were silenced
Greens MP Sarah Hanson-Young was one of an increasing number of women in parliament for publicly denouncing sexist behavior, recently winning a lawsuit against former liberal parliamentarian David Leyonhjelm, who shouted “stop sex with men” at a 2018 session.
The allegations of a problematic alcohol culture within Parliament were also highlighted, with Cave detailing an allegation by ex-labor MP Emma Husar, who said she was silenced after telling her boss that a liberal parliamentarian groped her during a function in 2017.
Claims that alcohol was a factor in Higgins’ alleged rape have also recently surfaced, with Veteran announcer Jeremy Cordeaux getting fired after calling her “silly girl who got drunk”.
“She should pat herself on the back,” he told listeners to her weekend breakfast program on the Adelaide FIVEaa radio station on Saturday, saying she shouldn’t have allowed herself to get into “that kind of compromising situation. “.
Ms. Higgins’ claim has sparked a wave of women reporting allegations of abuse and inappropriate behavior in parliament – an issue that is now receiving global coverage.
Morrison criticized for handling allegations
Mr. Morrison was widely criticized after telling the country that he understood the extent of the alleged attack on Mrs. Higgins only after his wife Jenny told him to consider how he would feel if he went one of his daughters who had been a victim.
He was also criticized for supporting Defense Minister Linda Reynolds, after calling Higgins a “lying cow” – a comment that Ms. Reynolds said was fueled by the belief that she had been “misrepresented” by Mrs. Higgins.
At a fiery press conference last month, the PM was accused of launching a rumor of alleged sexual assault against a journalist as a weapon, which later turned out to be false. He later apologized for making the false accusation in public.
Mr. Morrison was last month exploded by Tracy Grimshaw in a bombshell interview A Current Affair where he was forced to defend the way the government handled Ms. Higgins’s rape allegation and the historic rape allegation against Attorney General Christian Porter.
Porter led a news conference last month, vehemently denying the allegation that he raped a 16-year-old girl in Sydney in 1988 when they were both students.
He declined calls to leave his prestigious position, agreeing to work fewer hours while he pursues a defamation case against ABC.
Mr. Morrison, however, agreed that there was a clean-up to be done in Parliament, with the development of an Office Task Force dedicated to topics of women’s security and economic security holding its first meeting this week.
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