We need you to tell the Government to support stronger OHS laws for sexual harassment



Last week, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner (Kate Jenkins) released ‘The National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces’ Report (2020). The Report is based on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s survey on the national experience of sexual harassment, submissions from government agencies, business groups, community bodies and victims through roundtables and countless meetings with these key stakeholders. No less than 55 recommendations were made for reform.

ASMOF held our own survey with members which revealed that most female doctors have been sexually harassed in their workplace. Whilst 35% of 301 respondents overall had experienced sexual harassment, 55% of female doctors reported that they were sexually harassed in their workplace. Female Doctors in Training were even more likely to have experienced sexual harassment (61%).

A significant proportion of doctors (29%) also reported that they had witnessed sexual harassment in their workplace, with male and female respondents reporting that they had witnessed sexual harassment at equal rates.

The internal and external processes around reporting sexual harassment and outcomes for doctors are of a significant concern for ASMOF. Comments in the survey highlight the fear surrounding reporting, particularly the impact this may have on a doctor’s careers.

Our current laws put the burden solely on the individual to address sexual harassment after it happens. This has to change. The right to be free from sexual harassment is a workplace right, a health and safety right and a human right.

“Sexual harassment is not a women’s issue: it is a societal issue, which every Australian, and every Australian workplace, can contribute to addressing.

Workplace sexual harassment is not inevitable. It is not acceptable. It is preventable.” – Kate Jenkins

We need your help to tell the Attorney-General and Minister for Women to make workplaces healthy, safe and respectful for all of us. You can send an email to them by clicking: here