The ACTU and Australian unions will mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence starting today.

This comes as the ACTU’s survey on sexual harassment in the workplace is in progress, as well as the Human Right commissioners inquiry into sexual harassment.

The preliminary results of the ACTU’s survey, published earlier this month, showed that more than 1 in 2 women have been sexually harassed at work.

The union movement is calling for employers to take a role in proactively preventing sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, as well as campaigning to bring sexual harassment into the industrial relations system, removing the need for people who experience sexual harassment to go through a lengthy and expensive court process.

The ACTU survey can be completed here: 

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“The 16 days of activism come at a critical time in the campaign to address the systemic issue of gender based violence

“Employers have a huge role to play in ending sexual harassment. This is a systemic issue in the workplace and employers cannot sit on their hands.

“We need to give everyone who is sexually harassed at work fast, effective and inexpensive recourse. No one should have to weigh the cost of holding perpetrators to account.

“The entire union movement is committed to this campaign, we have to change the rules on sexual harassment. Too many people are working in environments which are not safe, this needs to end.

“We call on all political parties to get behind the campaign to change the rules on sexual harassment in the workplace.”