Rick Recroft / AFP
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated across Australia on Monday to protest against sexual violence, harassment and gender inequality in the country after a wave of sexual assault allegations linked to Parliament.
The March 4 demonstrations, which had been scheduled to take place in at least 47 locations across Australia on Monday, come as the government examines allegations of support for the “boy club” of misogyny in the wake of recent allegations.
The march came as advocates in the United Kingdom were calling on government officials to do more to protect the women being watched. the killer 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who was killed in London while returning home earlier this month.
Australian Attorney General Christian Porter was involved in 1988 rape allegations. Previously this month, reveal That he was the subject of a claim he allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl when he was also a teenager. This claim has been vehemently denied. The victim committed suicide last year.
Brittany Higgins, former employee of Australia’s ruling center-right liberal party, He came to the front Last month, she was reported to have been raped in a minister’s office in 2019. The party has since been under scrutiny due to the way it handled her case and the way officials, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, responded to her accusations.
Since Higgins introduced, Four other women The same unnamed man also raped them.
Higgins on Monday appeared at a demonstration of justice on March 4 in front of the Australian Parliament, where she spoke about her alleged rape.
“This is not a political problem. This is a humanitarian problem,” she told the audience. “We have all learned over the past few weeks how prevalent gender-based violence is in this country. It is time for our leaders on both sides of politics to stop avoiding public accountability and side steps. It is time to really address the problem.”
A call to action
March4Justice on Monday filed a petition to Morrison demanding that the government take immediate action after the protests.
that they Student Independent investigations of all cases of gender-based violence; For the country to fully implement the recommendations contained in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Investigation of Sexual Harassment in the Australian Workplace 2020; More funding to prevent gender-based violence; And the National Gender Equality Act.
Morrison called a delegation from the organization to meet at Parliament House on Sunday, but protest organizers resisted. They argued that he and other government officials should meet with them during the march.
Mars organizer Janine Hendry chirp Monday, “We have already reached the front door, and now it is up to the government to cross the threshold and come forward to us. We will not meet behind closed doors.”
Morrison also made comments on Monday that were as well CriticizeHe is seen by some as a threat, as protests have continued outside Parliament.
He said that it is “right and good” for people to participate in peaceful protests in Australia, adding: “Not far from here, such marches, so far, are met with bullets, but not here in this country.”
Participants hope Monday’s events will mark a turning point in Australian society.
Victoria’s Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams She said Show that women no longer want to be silent about the way sexual violence affects their lives.
“What we’re seeing now is that the community is sending a message that they are ready to have this conversation in public. They are more than ready, and they are eager to have the conversation now,” she said.