“Breathed On Again Of My Neck”: Ex Australia Minister Harassed In Parliament

When she raised the behaviour with others she was requested: “Cannot you’re taking a joke?”


Australia’s former dwelling affairs minister mentioned Tuesday a male colleague used to breathe down her neck as she spoke in parliament, turning into the most recent lady to query the nation’s political tradition. Karen Andrews, now a senior conservative politician, mentioned when she raised the unnamed man’s behaviour with others she was requested: “Cannot you’re taking a joke?”

The macho nature of Australian politics was highlighted in late 2021 when a scathing assessment discovered the nation’s halls of energy rife with heavy consuming, bullying, and sexual harassment.

Comparable criticism flared once more earlier this yr, when two politicians from totally different sides of the aisle accused the identical conservative senator of sexual assault.

Andrews, who will retire on the subsequent election, added her voice to the refrain of condemnation in an interview with Australian broadcaster ABC.

“I did have one in every of my male colleagues who used to breathe on the again of my neck in query time,” Andrews mentioned when requested if she had skilled harassment in parliament.

“I’d simply be sitting there minding my very own enterprise and I might have the again of my neck breathed on.

“And if I requested a query, it might be: ‘That was an excellent query, thrusting and probing’… that form of stuff.”

A broad assessment printed in November 2021 discovered that one in three individuals working inside Australia’s Parliament Home had skilled some type of sexual harassment.

The identical assessment, by the Australian Human Rights Fee, additionally discovered a laddish tradition permeated the constructing, fuelled by frequent bouts of heavy consuming.

Though Australia has elevated the variety of girls sitting in parliament, it has finished to this point slower than different nations.

In 1999 Australia had the fifteenth highest proportion of girls in its parliament, in accordance with rankings compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

By 2022 it had slipped down the desk to 57th place.

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