Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 933..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
is, or should be, a standard set of women's political views-often on issues which are not terribly relevant to the interest of most of the world's women.
I note that on International Women's day yesterday we had a range of breakfasts, lunches and teas. The minister announced awards and also spoke at the International Women's Day luncheon. I congratulate the award winners for their achievements and I also congratulate the long line of organisations that who were nominated, including an organisation close to my heart and of which I am a patron, Karinya House.
It is tempting to focus on the fact that these events were held respectively at Ridges Lakeside and the upper balcony of the Royal Canberra Golf Club. It is a fair bet that they attracted an audience which was broadly representative of middle-class career women who agree with the standard set of political views. It was interesting to read comments by Anne Henderson, reported in yesterday's paper, about how middle-class career women spend their time saying how they have been oppressed and bemoaning the fact that they have never made it when in fact they have.
Last Thursday we debated a matter of public importance about International Women's Day. On the same day as those speeches were being made, across town there was a discussion of a very different women's issue, which I alluded to last week, and that was the issue of "sexual servitude-a matter of life and death"This matter was raised during the Pamela Denoon Lecture, which is usually the opening event of International Women's Day each year. It was sadly under-patronised by women from this place and other members of this place.
In the Pamela Denoon Lecture I was particularly gratified to hear Kathleen Malzahn, the founding director of Project Respect, acknowledge the role of Liberal women in relation to raising the profile of the issue of sexual servitude, which led to the establishment of a $20 million federal program to combat this appalling practice. Kathleen Maltzahn said:
Another issue that I think is interesting in explaining why trafficking took off, so to speak-
the speech related to what happened last year to raise the profile of sexual servitude as an issue-
is the role of women from the Liberal Party. I have to say that although I must have spoken with and to thousands of people about trafficking, I don't think I have ever knowingly spoken to any woman-bar politicians-who overtly identified herself as a member of the Liberal Party. Certainly, then, our organisation didn't do a good job making links with those women. Clearly though, the media touched them, and although I couldn't prove it, from what I understand, women members of the Liberal Party made it very clear to their party that trafficking was unacceptable and something had to be done.
It remains clear that, as Kathleen Maltzahn noted in her address, much more needs to be done about understanding the problem better and coming up with more effective ways of addressing it.
Mr Speaker, I need to place on the record the role of Liberal women-and, I have to say, more specifically Liberal women in the ACT-in bringing this issue to the forefront and