Yesterday the Australian Human Rights Commission released its report Set the Standard: Report on the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces. GEN VIC accepts and welcomes the report and calls to immediately implement all recommendations.
This Independent Review was one of the three actions GEN VIC called for in its successful Enough is Enough campaign, which demanded greater protections for women MP’s and the prevention of gendered violence within parliaments. GEN VIC was one of 33 organisations that made a submission to the review, and our observations and recommendations are referenced throughout the Report.
Some of the key recommendations of GEN VIC’s that were picked in Set the Standard include:
- the development of a Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians and a Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians’ Staff;
- the development of an Independent Parliamentary Standards Commission to operate a confidential system to receive disclosure and handle complaints about breaches of Codes of Conduct;
- to establish a Parliamentary Health and Wellbeing Service; and
- to develop and implement consistent comprehensive alcohol policies across Commonwealth parliamentary workplaces, amongst other policies for respectful workplace behaviour.
“The Sex Discrimination Commissioner and team at the AHRC and victim/survivors have done an extraordinary job in bringing this abuse to light. It’s now time to honour the work of women – the large number of complainants and investigators – to fully implement the recommendations. It is important that the Federal Government do not pick and choose from these recommendations as they are best practice, grounded in evidence and voices of women,” said Tanja Kovac, CEO, GEN VIC.
“These recommendations need to not only be at a commonwealth level, but all state parliaments including Victoria need to look seriously and decide whether their Codes of Conduct, procedures, complaints and support services are doing enough for gender equality and keeping women safe,” said Trish Crossin, former MP and Special Advisor of Women and Politics at GEN VIC.
A key recommendation that GEN VIC put forward in addressing the tide of online abuse towards women in politics, however, this was not addressed in this report. GEN VIC is currently working on a project funded by the Victorian Government to develop recommendations to address online abuse towards women in politics. The report will be released in 2022.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Tanja Kovac, CEO GEN VIC, Mobile: 0419 910 577, firstname.lastname@example.org