untitled design

Australia: Thousands of women on the streets against sexual violence

Tens of thousands of women gathered outside her parliament today Australia in Canberra, but also in many cities of the country, to denounce sexual violence and demand equality and justice for victims of sexual assault.

The # March4Justice (Justice for March) campaign was launched following a series of allegations that have come to light in recent weeks involving high-ranking government officials.

The demonstrators wore black clothes to show “their strength and mourning”, while holding banners with slogans such as “Break the silence.” Stop the violence “,” How many victims do you know? ” and “I believe her”, while shouting “We will not be silent”.

In Melbourne, protesters held a huge banner with the names of all women victims of gender-based violence in Australia since 2008, and those outside parliament submitted two petitions calling for a change.

A delegation of protesters refused to have a private meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while leaders of major opposition parties took part in the protest.

“We came to his garden,” said Janine Hendry, one of the organizers of the rally outside parliament.

“We are 200 meters from his office and it is not right to meet behind closed doors, especially when we talk about sexual abuse that takes place behind closed doors,” he explained.

A spokesman for Morrison said the Australian Prime Minister had suggested that the protesters meet with their delegation in private, a proposal that still stands, and declined to comment further.

Among the sexual abuse scandals that have come to light in recent days is one involving Attorney General Christian Porter, the government’s top legal adviser, whom a woman, a former classmate, accused of raping her in 1988 when she was 16 years old. This woman died last year.

Porter today categorically denied the allegations and filed a defamation suit against the state television network ABC, the first to report the case. ABC did not reveal the identity of the politician accused of rape, but Porter said it was “easy to identify” and denounced “a media trial”.

Another senior Morrison Liberal Party adviser has been accused by several women of rape or sexual assault. The man has not been named or has publicly commented on the allegations.

It all started after the allegations last month of former government employee Brittany Higgins, who revealed that in 2019 she was raped by a colleague in the office held by Linda Reynolds, who was then Minister of Defense Industry and is now Minister of Defense.

Reynolds, who, like Porter, is on sick leave, apologized on Friday and said she had reached an agreement with Higgins to be given financial compensation.

“Together we can bring about real reforms that make sense in the work culture in Parliament and, I hope, in every workplace, to ensure that the next generation of women can live in a safer and fairer Australia,” Higgins said. to the women who had gathered in Canberra.

The media reported that women belonging to the Labor Party, an opposition party, created a Facebook page in which they referred to other sexual assaults by politicians.

For its part, the government has called for an independent inquiry into work culture in parliament.

You may also like

Get the latest

Stay Informed: Get the Latest Updates and Insights


Most popular