Dolly Parton's sister Stella thinks it's time the singer told her #MeToo stories.

Legendary American country singer Dolly Parton has been publicly shamed by her younger sister for not speaking out about sexual abuse in the country music industry.

This week, the 73-year-old’s younger sister, Stella, 69, called for her sister to use her platform, and experiences, to advocate for women’s rights.

“I’m ashamed of my sister for keeping her mouth shut,” Stella told the Our Stories podcast, which is hosted by the CountryLine television station.

“She can run it when it is about something else, but speak up about injustice, Dolly Parton,” she implored, adding, “Defend women, and don’t just do it in a little song.”

Noting her sister’s iconic status as a nine-time Grammy winner of more than five decades experience in the music industry, Stella said she believes Dolly has an obligation to other women to share her personal story.

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“This is the first time I’ve really publicly called my sister out,” Stella continued.

“But it’s high time that some of these older women speak up and speak out. They’ve all gone through all kinds of abuse in this industry, so: speak up!”

It’s not clear at this stage which stories of sexual abuse Stella believes Dolly isn’t disclosing. As a women’s rights advocate herself (Stella teaches domestic violence awareness courses to young women in Kentucky), the former country singer asked her sister to take advantage of the current climate of truth.

“I believe we finally have a chance here. We have an open window. Don’t let it be closed by keeping your mouth shut.”

Stella Parton, Frieda Parton and Dolly Parton in 1981. Image: Getty

Stella's comments come as Dolly told the Guardian last week that she wouldn't label herself a feminist, and is not an active supporter of the #MeToo movement.

In that interview, the singer said that workplace harassment is no worse today than in previous decades, explaining that the attention the topic is given is due to "the #MeToo movement [because] women are bolder to speak out against it".

Dolly also explained she didn't feel she needed to prove her allegiance when it came to feminism.

"I think the way I have conducted my life and my business speaks for itself," she said.

Stella grew up with Dolly as one of 12 siblings in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, in poverty-stricken circumstances, with tobacco farmer parents. Being the fourth-born, Dolly often assumed a caretaker role over her younger siblings, including Stella.

This is not the first time Stella has spoken publicly about her famous sister. In 2011, she published a memoir called Tell It Sister, Tell It, in which she revealed parts of what her childhood was like with her family.

Last year, Stella told The Daily Mail that she and Dolly "have always been close". She also revealed how meaningful the #MeToo movement has been to her, because of her own experience of sexual assault, which she kept hidden at the time.

"It would be different today, I would go straight to the police," she said.

"That’s why I’m so happy about the #MeToo movement. I truly believe something good has come out of something bad."

What do you think of Stella Parton's comments about her sister Dolly? Tell us in the comments section below.