Toxic parliaments and what can be done about them

Women Marching in Canberra Australia
Women Marching to Parliament House in Canberra (March 4, 2024) - Photo Natalie Barr

In recent years, Australia has been rocked by serious allegations of sexual assault and harassment within parliaments. Widespread reports of misconduct, nationwide protests and the #MeToo movement led to a reckoning that could not be ignored. In their new open-access book, Marian Sawer AO and Maria Maley examine how such scandals have spurred on reform of the parliamentary workplace in four Westminster countries – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

Join us to celebrate the launch of their book, Toxic Parliaments: And What Can Be Done About Them. You will hear from Kate Jenkins AO, Australia's foremost authority on respect and equality in the workplace. In her tenure as Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Commissioner, she was responsible for the Respect@Work and Set the Standard reports, which resulted in the first codes of conduct for the Australian Parliament.

Kate and Maria will discuss how institutional features of Westminster parliaments, such as adversarialism and parliamentary privilege, contribute to continued sexism and sexual harassment in the parliamentary workplace and explore possibilities for future, long lasting, institutional change.

This event is organised by The Global Institute for Women's Leadership (GIWL).

Date & time

Wed 17 Jul 2024, 5.30–7pm


RSSS Auditorium (Room 1.28) 146 Ellery Crescent Acton ACT 2601


Kate Jenkins AO
Marian Sawer AO
Maria Maley


Annabelle Cleary


Updated:  11 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  RSSS Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications