Oxfam is facing new allegations of sexual exploitation, bullying and mismanagement only weeks after it was cleared to apply for government aid funds again following the Haiti scandal.
In Australia, 65 per cent of girls and young women have reported being harassed or abused online.
But some experts are arguing that in a “manosphere” of online anti-women groups, methods of communication and organisation are becoming more sophisticated.
At the more serious end of the spectrum, these experts say, are operators that must be seen and named as “extremist” or “terrorist” groups – particularly if anything is to be done to stop them.
Dr Roose would like to see a “reclassifying” of the worst of the online behaviour that exists, in groups that target women online, and actively advocate harassment and violence towards women.
When the behaviour involves promoting, advocating or threatening violence or sexual violence to control women, “it needs to be actually considered a form of violent extremism,” Dr Roose says.
We invited you to tell him your stories through the Herald and The Age. And the deluge began. Hundreds of women from across the country wrote of the traumas suffered, of feelings of shame, humiliation and fear they had endured, many for decades. They had been abused by friends, family, colleagues, strangers; in their homes, at their workplaces, on public transport, in taxis – anywhere and everywhere. Some women told of their experiences from 50, 60 years ago, for the first time. Grandmothers, mothers, daughters wondered what their lives would have been like had they not had to carry their secrets, their traumas, their shame through the years.They are united in their desire to be listened to for altruistic reasons – they want their stories to contribute to the movement towards change that has gripped the country. They are inspired by the bravery and strength of young women like Brittany Higgins, Grace Tame, Chanel Contos and those who responded to her petition, and have told of their experiences to build on the momentum created by younger generations. They are angry because every woman has a story to tell and injustices continue. And they want to be part of what they hope will be historic change in the treatment of women in society – because enough is enough.
Senior lecturer in politics at the Australian National University Maria Maley said Mr Falinski’s comments showed the government was trying to spin a new narrative on why he didn’t attend the protests.
“The government is desperately trying to change the narrative about what happened with the PM not attending or meeting the marchers,” Dr Maley said.
“What that implies though, is that the women who were gathering to raise these issues were posing a threat to him.
“It puts him in the position of victim.”
In the past week many commentators, including the ABC’s Laura Tingle, have juxtaposed Mr Morrison’s response to that of former PM John Howard, who fronted a crowd of angry pro-gun demonstrators in 1996 following the Port Arthur Massacre.
Women on both sides of politics have shared the vile abuse and threats they routinely cop for doing their job, with the Parliament hearing emotional pleas for things to change.
If passed, the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill 2021 would essentially fill a gap in the law to ensure that judges and MPs would be both held liable for sexual harassment and protected from it. According to independent MP Zali Steggall, it would also restore confidence in these institutions.
In delivering this legislation to Parliament, Ms Steggall said the government did not take the opportunity to present it themselves, adding that if they failed to adopt this amendment, they “are endorsing sexual harassment in our workplace” and are supportive of the message that MPs are held above others when it comes to the law.
“The allegations we have heard this year from [Brittany] Higgins and others of the harassment and even assault here in Parliament House reinforces the need for a change to the legislation,” she said. “Creating legislation to make sure that MPs and judges are held to the same standard as others in the workplace is important.”
Venture capitalist Elaine Stead sued the AFR and Joe Aston over a series of published columns where she was described as a “feminist cretin”.
Cyber bullies could face $110,000 fines, and adults bullying children online could be obliged to apologise to their victims, under an online safety act.
Magistrate Wallington concluded that the acts did take place, but, applying the laws of 2014, they could not be proven to ‘a criminal standard’ and there was not enough evidence to prove McLachlan ‘understood he did not have consent’.