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Minister for Women’s open door defence of March 4 Justice absence

Article image for Minister for Women’s open door defence of March 4 Justice absence

The Minister for Women has defended herself against a flurry of criticism following yesterday’s national ‘March 4 Justice’ protest against gendered violence.

Minister for Women Marise Payne declined to attend the rally, instead joining the Prime Minister in an offer to have a private meeting with organisers.

In what Jim Wilson described as an “unnecessary stumbling block in the fight for change”, organisers rejected the offer.

Ms Payne told Jim it would’ve been inappropriate for her to begin “working through” the issue in such a forum.

“It’s not been my habit to join protests; in fact I don’t recall ever in my parliamentary career joining a protest of that nature.”

She gave assurances the door was open at any time yesterday morning, and continues to be left open.

“They very politely declined … but any suggestion that we were not available … would be incorrect.

“I would hope that in 2021 we can take a very mature approach to this.

“As a parliament, we have to own these problems, we have to own the failings … but most importantly we have to own the solutions.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Shadow minister for women Tanya Plibersek told Jim Ms Payne missed out on hearing the “powerful” accounts of women who have been sexually assaulted and harassed.

“I think it would’ve been really helpful if the Prime Minister and the Minister had been able to listen to more of the speeches.

“Too much of these conversations about sexual assault and sexual harassment happen in secret behind closed doors, and [protesters] are sick of the silence.

“We need to be teaching our kids about respectful relationships, but the other thing we need to do is fix the system that is broken.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

Jim Wilson
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