Tuesday 6 March 2018

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins has welcomed the Minister for Women’s moves to improve online safety, particularly for women and girls.

In her National Press Club address to mark International Women’s Day, the Minister Kelly O’Dwyer announced that she will work with leading internet providers to look at innovative ways to tackle online abuse.

The Minister has invited Commissioner Jenkins and the eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman-Grant, to join her at quarterly meetings with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Instagram.

Commissioner Jenkins said she looks forward to working with the Minister and is pleased to play a part in addressing the issue.

“As I have identified in my priorities document Unleashing the Power of Gender Equality perpetrators of violence against women are using technology to harass their victims. It’s critical we work collectively to find solutions,” Commissioner Jenkins said.

“Research by the eSafety Office reveals a significant number of Australians have experienced image-based abuse, with statistics as high as 1 in 5 for women aged 18-45.

“Disturbingly, 80 percent of the image-based abuse reports to the eSafety Office are from young women, 40 per cent of whom are under the age of 18. This is unacceptable.

Minister O’Dwyer also announced the Australian Human Rights Commission’s fourth national survey into sexual harassment will be expanded from 2,000 participants to 10,000 participants.

The survey will provide detailed information about the prevalence of sexual harassment in our workplaces. It will also, for the first time, provide data on the prevalence of harassment within major industry sectors.

Commissioner Jenkins welcomed the commitment to work together, once the survey results are known, to ensure workplaces are taking account of sexual harassment in the social media age.