Australian Parliament: One in three working faced sexual harassment, says report

The enquiry report into the ‘Parliamentary workplace culture’ revealed on Tuesday that one in the three people working in Australia’s federal parliament has experienced sexual harassment.

The report, titled as—‘Set the standard’, was tabled in federal parliament on Tuesday morning. The report revealed that 51% of the staffers had experienced one or other form of sexual harassment or assault. The review committee explained that more than half of the people, who had responded to the questions, had experienced incident of sexual harassment, bullying or attempted or actual sexual assault, for at least once in their working experience.

The committee has interviewed at least 1,723 people and 33 organizations.

The report was commissioned after a former staffer, Brittany Higgins, alleged that she had been raped by a colleague in a minister’s office in the Parliament building.

Earlier in February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s party was put under pressure over its poor handling of the alleged rape case inside the Parliament building.

However, Scott Morrison found the enquiry report findings as ‘disturbing’ and ‘appalling’. The Prime Minister, in a statement, said that the Parliament must clean up its act.

The report also said that such sexual harassment experiences devastate the individuals and their teams, which ultimately undermine the performance of country’s parliamentary working.

The enquiry report also made 28 recommendations which include gender balance among lawmakers and their staff. Also the committee recommended new alcohol policies and the creation of a new human resource office so that the complaints of sexual harassment can be dealt with.

At present, Morrison is under pressure to deal with the Parliamentary culture as the elections are due in Australia, in the first half of 2022.

Meanwhile, rape victim Brittany Higgins, said that—“I want to thank the many brave people who shared their stories, which contributed in this review.”

 

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