A report released in November 2021 revealed rampant sexual assaults and rape scandals in the ministries.
According to the report, one in every three people working in Australia’s Parliament has been subjected to sexual harassment.
Australia’s PM Scott Morisson’s party came under fire in February of last year for its handling of an alleged rape inside the building. This prompted Morisson to order an inquiry on the allegations. Critics say the findings of the review were “appalling” and “disturbing.”
The review detailed widespread inappropriate behaviour and discovered that more than half of those who responded had been subjected to at least one incident of sexual harassment, bullying, or actual or attempted sexual assault.
According to the report, which was based on a seven-month investigation, 63 percent of the country’s female parliamentarians “have experienced some form of sexual harassment while working there.”
The culture allowed it
The report said 63% of the country’s female parliamentarians “have experienced some form of sexual harassment while working there.”
“Aspiring male politicians who thought nothing of, in one case, picking you up, kissing you on the lips, lifting you up, touching you, pats on the bottom, comments about appearance, you know, the usual… the culture allowed it,” said one of the report’s 1,700 interviewees.
“Such experiences leave a trail of devastation for individuals and their teams and undermine the performance of our parliament to the nation’s detriment,” it added, according to Reuters.
In Parliament, the speaker read a statement in which he apologised for “an unacceptable history of workplace bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in parliamentary workplaces.”
Brittany Higgins, who went public last year with details of the alleged rape that prompted the review, sat in the public gallery as all party leaders pledged to change.
“We are sorry, I am sorry to Miss Higgins for the terrible things that took place here,” said Morrison, adding that a place that should have been safe “turned out to be a nightmare.”