Prominent Australians demand real action to stop violence against women

The ABC is being sued over the National Press Club address by Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame.

The ABC is being sued over the National Press Club address by Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame. Photo: AAP

Promises to end the violence, harassment and discrimination felt by many Australian woman must be backed up with real action, a group including Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins says.

To coincide with International Women’s Day, the alliance of prominent women is releasing a video and letter outlining how leaders can ensure calls for action are reflected in real change.

“We’ve had the reviews, the reports, the talkfests – it’s time for our leaders to get to work, stop the abuse of power and bring about real change,” 2021 Australian of The Year Grace Tame said.

“This isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue.”

Among the actions the group says will result in real change are 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave and eliminating the gender pay gap.

They’re also calling for respectful relationships and consent education in schools, universities, workplaces and homes.

Free early childhood education and expanding paid parental leave will also mean real change to the lives of more Australian women, they say.

The group has met informally over several months and also includes executive and ex Australia Post chief Christine Holgate, Lucy Hughes Turnbull, former MP Julia Banks and youth advocate Yasmin Poole

“One in five women in Australia will be sexually assaulted or raped in her lifetime, and two in five women have faced sexual harassment in the workplace in the last five years,” Ms Pool says.

“If you’re a First Nations woman, a woman of colour, have a disability or identify as LGBTIQ+, those statistics are even worse.”

International Women’s Day is recognised on March 8 and the letter and video will be released on Sunday night.

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