Social Issues

One in six Australian officials have experienced sexual harassment: poll

Sydney, Australia, Apr 30 (EFE).- One in six officials in Australia, mainly women, have been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, according to a poll published Friday, amid outrage in the country following a parliament rape allegation made earlier this year.

The Community and Public Sector Union study also indicates that 19 percent of the 3,280 civil servants surveyed had witnessed some form of sexual harassment.

One in three incidents of sexual harassment have been reported, although when this happens, the report is often perceived as “inappropriate,” according to the executive summary of the union’s “Sexual Harassment Report 2021” report.

“Working women have identified a series of problems that contribute to gender inequality and the perpetuation of a work culture that does not contribute to keeping them safe. The problem is not that women do not propose solutions, it is that the government and employers do not listen to them,” Melissa Donnelly, the union’s National Secretary, said in a statement.

The results of the survey come amid a debate in Australia about the safety of women in the workplace sparked in February, when Brittany Higgins, a former employee of the ruling Liberal Party, reported having been raped by a former coworker in a parliament office in 2019.

After her complaint, followed by three others against the alleged aggressor, the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison was questioned for not listening to Higgins. She will meet Morrison on Friday after a strong campaign that has included marches in favor of measures stronger to protect women in their workplaces.

Higgins’s complaint resulted in another accusation against former Attorney General Christian Porter, now Minister of Industry, for an alleged rape case dating back 30 years, which he denies and which police archived for lack of evidence after the accuser’s death in 2020. EFE


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