Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASE: Peak student bodies welcome the Respect@Work report and call on the government to look after women during this pandemic

23 Mar 20

Peak student bodies welcome the Respect@Work report and call on the government to look after women during this pandemic.
The peak student bodies Council of Australian Postgraduate Student Associations (CAPA), National Union of Students (NUS), Council of International Students Australia (CISA) and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Postgraduate Association (NATSIPA) are deeply disturbed at the extent of sexual harassment at Australian workplaces. We welcome the 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report, and call on the Morrison Government to take immediate action on all of its recommendations.

Sexual harassment is never acceptable. The right to be free from sexual harassment is a human right that unfortunately far too many women in Australia, do not enjoy. Almost 40 per cent of Australian women and just over 25 per cent of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in the past five years. Almost 80 per cent said that one or more of their harassers were male. The reality for students is no different and these figures are unacceptable. We therefore welcome a start to reform on this important matter.

“Nobody should go to work feeling unsafe. We urge that the Morrison government works with Respect@Work actions the recommendations that have been made by the Commissioner”, says NUS National Women Officer, Humaira Nasrin.

“The safety of women, in particular women of colour, at workplaces is often overlooked and minimized. We encourage the investigation and monitoring of the effort to change this culture. We urge the government, workplaces and leaders to adopt the recommendations immediately”, says CISA National Women’s Officer, Belle Lim.

“For too long our peak organisations have been fighting to be free from sexual violence in our workplaces. NATSIPA calls on the Morrison government to immediately implement the recommendations of the Respect@Work report”, says NATSIPA President Sharlene Leroy-Dyer.

Together, we are urging the government to remember and mitigate risks associated with the women in our lives during these testing times. Particularly those who are on the frontline of this pandemic such as nurses, teachers, childcare workers and carers. As well as those who are at greater risk of domestic violence during isolation and the inevitable lockdown.
For comment:
CAPA National President Romana-Rea Begicevic
M: 0420 258 404
NUS National Women’s Officer Humaira Nasrin
M: 0420 766 021
CISA National Women’s officer Belle Lim
M: 0406 398 499
NATSIPA National President Dr. Sharlene Leroy-Dyer 
M: 0417 239 909