Christian Porter’s ex-wife marches in historic rally against violence and gender discrimination after the Attorney General was accused of rape
- Christian Porter’s first wife Lucy Gunn attended a protest in Perth on Sunday
- She was one of thousands to march against gender discrimination and violence
- March is in wake of rape allegations against Mr Porter and former Liberal staffer
- Thousands more Australians are expected to march across country on Monday
Christian Porter’s ex-wife joined thousands of women to march against gender discrimination and violence in Perth.
Lucy Gunn, the Attorney General’s first wife, was among the crowd of protesters who took to Forrest Place on Sunday.
The Perth event comes as thousands more women prepare to march across 40 metropolitan areas in Australia from midday on Monday to demand an end to gendered violence, inequality, and misogyny in the workplace.
The rallies are in the wake of rape allegations levelled at Mr Porter, which he vehemently denies, and a former Liberal staffer.
Pictured: Western Australians rallying for women’s right in Perth on Sunday. Demonstrations will be held across the nation on Monday
The Attorney General and his alleged victim were teenagers when the alleged rape occurred in Sydney in 1988.
Mr Porter, who is currently taking leave from his role as a federal cabinet minister, firmly denied the allegations.
The woman withdrew her complaint the day before she took her own life last year.
Mr Porter split with his second wife, Jennifer, at the beginning of last year.
Organisers of the Women’s March4Justice rejected an offer from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to meet behind closed doors, instead urging him to come out and listen.
Founder Janine Hendry said with more than 100,000 women expected to march in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane a meeting with just three women was not enough.
The rallies are in the wake of rape allegations levelled at Christian Porter, which he vehemently denies, and a former Liberal staffer
‘We have already come to the front door, now it’s up to the government to cross the threshold and come to us,’ she said.
‘We will not be meeting behind closed doors.’
Ms Hendry came face-to-face with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack inside Parliament House on Monday.
‘You have been looking at this for years,’ she told Mr McCormack.
‘The women of Australia want some action. We are drawing a line in the sand right here, right now.’
The rallies are being held across Australia to protest the unacceptable treatment of women in the workplace and the community and the right of women to feel safe.
‘Wherever I go, I’m stopped by women, by girls, by men as well, saying that they’ve just had enough,’ Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek said.
Pictured: Women marching in Perth while holding signs on Sunday at the historic March 4 Justice rally
She was one of many opposition politicians to front the media calling for change in their own party and within the parliament.
‘I’m very concerned, too, that despite all of the efforts that have been made by so many people over so many years change is too slow,’ Ms Plibersek said.
Finance Minister Senator Simon Birmingham said he expected members of the government would attend the rally but said ‘proper discussions’ would be best.
‘I would encourage the rally organisers to reconsider their refusal to meet with the prime minister,’ he told ABC radio.
The march comes as the Morrison government is under a cloud over the alleged rape of a former Liberal staffer by a colleague and rape allegations dating back to 1988 levelled at Mr Porter, which he strongly denies.
KEY DEMANDS OF MARCH 4 JUSTICE ORGANISERS
* Investigate gendered violence within parliament
* Stand down politicians who perpetrate violence
* Implement recommendations of Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report
* Ratify Convention on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work
* Strengthen Sex Discrimination Act so parliamentarians and judges are held to account for sexual harassment and discrimination
* Create code of conduct for federal MPs that includes prevention of gendered violence
* Mandate annual gendered violence and sexual harassment training for federal MPs and their staff
* Enact federal Gender Equality Act and conduct a national gender equity audit of all parliaments
* Lift public funding for gendered violence prevention from one per cent to world’s best practice standards of nine to 12 per cent of the federal budget
* Ensure all Australian parliaments are gender equal by 2030