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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 561 ..


If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

I present the following papers:

Women and girls in the ACT—

Annual statement on the status—2021.

Ministerial statement, 30 March 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

Visitors

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, before I call the next member, I draw to your attention the presence in the gallery of former member Mr Michael Moore. Welcome. It is good to see you cannot keep away, Mr Moore. Also, given the topic, I want to recognise the Victims of Crime Commissioner, Ms Heidi Yates. Thank you for being part of this as well.

Status of women and girls in the ACT

Ministerial statement

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.39): There is no doubt that the past few months have been difficult for women, but also incredibly important. We have been shocked and traumatised by the events we have heard about happening just a few kilometres away at Parliament House. It has been a stark reminder that if these terrible things can take place in our highest institution, they can happen anywhere, and they do.

Every year for International Women’s Day it seems there are more and more events celebrating the progress of women. It is more like International Women’s Month now. I have always enjoyed going to all of these events and acknowledging and celebrating our progress, how much we have achieved. This year I felt a little different, I think along with many women. This year’s theme of “choose to challenge” could not have been more relevant for women in Australia.

At every event I attended, women were fired up; Canberra women were angry. They are frustrated and they will not be silenced by the patriarchy. It is an important conversation and I urge everyone to sit down and listen to what women have to say. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters are standing up and saying, “Enough is enough.” Enough is enough.

There is no age group that is immune to gender violence and gender discrimination, harassment and assault. It can happen anywhere, any time and to anyone. It is up to all of us, male and female, non-binary—everyone in our community—to stand up and call out bad behaviour. Change will not happen overnight. Let me tell you, in my


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