‘Shameful’ sex acts in Parliament shake up Australian government


Tens of thousands of women have joined “# March4Justice” rallies this month to protest sexual violence and gender inequalities, calling for systemic change in politics and in Australian society at large.

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Leaked videos of Australian Conservative government employees performing sex acts in Parliament, including a man masturbating in front of an MP’s desk, has left Scott Morrison’s administration facing yet another major scandal Tuesday.

The Prime Minister – already under pressure to deal with allegations of sexual assault, including the rape of a government adviser by a colleague – called the behavior “shameful” and “absolutely shameful”.

The videos and photos, which were said to have been shared in a panel discussion with coalition government staff before being leaked by a whistleblower, were first revealed by the Australian newspaper and Channel 10 on Monday evening .

The graphic images have sparked further outrage from lawmakers and the Australian public, in the wake of rape allegations that sparked mass protests nationwide.

The whistleblower, identified only as Tom, told news outlets that government members and MPs often used a parliament prayer room to have sex, and alleged sex workers were brought into the building “for the pleasure of the deputies of the coalition”.

He also said that a group of staff members regularly exchanged explicit photos of themselves and that he had received so many that he had “become immune to it”.

He said there is a “culture of men who think they can do whatever they want” and while he doesn’t think the staff have broken the laws, “they are morally bankrupt.” .

An employee was immediately sacked and the government promised further measures.

Women’s Minister Marise Payne told local media the latest revelations were “more disappointing,” saying they underscored the need for a government-ordered investigation into workplace culture in parliament.

Cabinet Minister Karen Andrews said she had had an “absolute void” of sexism in politics and her “conscience would no longer allow me to remain silent.”

She told reporters in Canberra that the ruling Liberal Party should consider gender quotas for its political representatives.

Australia’s parliament has been repeatedly criticized for a “toxic” work culture that has reportedly resulted in persistent bullying, harassment and sexual assault against women – especially in the ruling coalition.

Former government member Brittany Higgins publicly claimed last month that she was raped by a colleague in a minister’s parliamentary office in 2019.

And earlier this month, Attorney General Christian Porter vigorously denied the swirling accusations that he raped a 16-year-old girl in 1988 when they were both students.

Controversies have put increasing pressure on the prime minister, who critics say has eluded the government’s response.

Morrison became emotional at a press conference in Canberra on Tuesday when he spoke about the importance of his wife, mother and daughters, also saying the women had endured a “very traumatic” month.

“These events sparked off, across this building and indeed across the country, women who put up with this garbage and shit all their lives, like their mothers, like their grandmothers,” did he declare.

“This is something that has been the experience of Australian women for a very long time, and I welcome the attention now being given to it,” he said, acknowledging that many were not satisfied. of his response to date.

Tens of thousands of women have joined “# March4Justice” rallies this month to protest sexual violence and gender inequalities, calling for systemic change in politics and in Australian society at large.

The opposition Labor Party, which has already implemented gender quotas, has not been immune to similar claims. A Facebook group of female workers recently detailed allegations of sexual harassment by male colleagues and politicians.


Source link

Previous the pandemic brought this Irish woman closer to her home
Next The kindness of strangers | Information Grosse Pointe