Events are also regularly held in the branches by the CWP to support and inspire young women to consider politics as a career.
The CWP Australia Region reached out to Pacific women parliamentarians initiating the Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships project that ran for five years (2012–2017) to help their counterparts in the Pacific region.
The Chair of the CWP Steering Committee for Australia Region has written to Presiding Officers and party leaders in all Australian legislatures as a result of attention paid to women’s participation in Australia’s parliaments and reports of alleged intimidation and harassment of women parliamentarians and their staff.
Overwhelmingly, respondents stated that bullying and intimidation has no place in any workplace and the importance of having a safe and respectful workplace to come to each day. Some went on to acknowledge that there was reason to be deeply concerned about intimidation and bullying in the workplace in general and in Parliament in particular.
One response acknowledged that bullying and harassment can come from a variety of sources, including outside such as social media, emails and phone calls. Work on improving culture to support women's participation appears to be progressing in a number of ways.
The CWP Steering committee is hoping to share the feedback generated through this exercise and to consider whether there are any additional measures that parliaments may wish to consider in support of safe working conditions for women.
These reports are of deep concern to CWP Australia. While we work to encourage women to stand for election, reports that some women parliamentarians and staff may have been bullied and harassed are very likely to deter other women from seeking public office.
Current Action Agenda
- Ensuring that issues for women at times of disaster are addressed
- Work on increasing numbers of women in parliaments and their future pathways
- Advocating for professional training, support and counselling for members of parliament when they are dealing with traumatic and sensitive issues
- Advocating for assistance on safety issues, sexual harassment and bullying in parliaments