March 4 Justice - 22/03/2021

22 March 2021

The events of these last few weeks have demonstrated that the culture of parliament has not evolved to make women feel safe, welcomed and valued. It reflects the widespread and structural problems of inequality facing Australian women. Last week women from around the country marched, wanting to be heard. I was proud to join the women outside of this parliament last Monday. They marched because they had had enough—enough of violence against women, enough of sexism in our workplaces and enough of inequality. Fundamentally, women are just asking to be treated as equals, as human beings. Enough is enough.

This parliament must do better. We must lead to improve the culture of how women are treated in our workplaces, our communities and our homes. We need safe, appropriate workplace standards that protect women from intimidation, harassment and discrimination. On average, one woman per week is murdered by a current or former partner. One in three Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15. This is not the time to abolish the Family Court and it is not the time to tell women that, if they want to escape a domestic violence situation, they can rob their own superannuation, robbing their own retirement. Action is required to end the continuing pay gap of 13.4 per cent and the perpetually increasing levels of gendered poverty.