Australians rally at Parliament to demand justice for women

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Thousands of people with placards and banners rally demanding justice for women in Sydney, Monday, March 15, 2021, as the government reels from two separate allegations. The rally was one of several across Australia including in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart calling out sexism, misogyny and dangerous workplace cultures. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

CANBERRA – Australians rallied in the capital and other cities Monday demanding justice for women and calling out misogyny and dangerous workplace cultures as the government reels from two rape allegations.

Outside Parliament House in Canberra, the crowd of hundreds was mostly female and most wore black. They carried placards with slogans including “Justice for Women” and “Men, Own Your Guilt.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused organizers’ demand that he address the crowd, and organizers said they wouldn’t meet him behind closed doors.

“We have already come to the front door, now it’s up to the government to cross the threshold and come to us,” organizer Janine Hendry said.

“We will not be meeting behind closed doors,” she added.

She estimated more than 100,000 women had protested at 40 rallies around the country.

Morrison later told Parliament that he shared the protesters' frustration and concern. “This is not to suggest that good faith and genuine efforts are not being made, whether by this government or the many governments that have proceeded us. Those efforts are being made. But the outcomes still elude us,” he said.

Morrison is standing by Attorney General Christian Porter over an allegation that he raped a 16-year-old girl when he was aged 17 in 1988. Porter denied the allegation. His accuser took her own life last year after withdrawing a complaint to police.