When thousands of women march on Parliament House tomorrow to demand immediate action to address sexism, misogyny, dangerous workplace cultures and lack of equality in politics, I will be with them.
One of my key motivations to enter politics was to stand up and call this behaviour out. Sadly, that has been missing in our federal Parliament for too long.
When I put my hand up to run in 2019, many in the community warned me of the misogynistic culture of politics. Having been an Olympian and a Barrister I am familiar with working in a male-dominated industry, and, having watched the sexist treatment of Julia Gillard and then Julie Bishop, I was more motivated than ever to bring change to Canberra.
I have learnt there is no satisfaction in sitting on the sidelines. If you want to change the status quo you need to act, and you need to be heard.
Watch the Mamamia team at the Women's March in Sydney. Post continues after video.
It’s now nearly two years since I was elected as the Member for Warringah. That’s enough time to learn what the culture is like in Parliament House – a workplace filled with toxic masculinity and not enough male or female leaders prepared to call out inappropriate behaviour.
At one point during Question Time, as the allegations were compounding, Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested the two major parties should run their own internal investigations into the treatment of staff “and then exchange notes”. Give me a break.
Under pressure from the Crossbench and the Opposition for an independent inquiry, the government agreed. There are now four ongoing separate inquiries since Brittany Higgins went public with her shocking allegations, but only one is truly independent and will make its findings public.