In 2018, the Australian Human Rights Commission launched a national inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. WIFT Australia attended consultation sessions regarding the inquiry and has submitted an official written response. Individuals and organisations were encouraged to make written submissions up until 28 February 2019.
WIFT Australia welcome the Australian Human Rights Commission's Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces. The Inquiry is believed to be a world first and marks a clear step towards addressing an issue that 85% of Australian's will experience in their lifetime.
Kate Jenkins, Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, credits the recent wave of global stories in bringing heightened awareness of the problem. "This spotlight on sexual harassment has turned the tide and created a clear and unprecedented appetite for change."
Although sexual harassment affects all people, harassers disproportionately target women. The effects can be devastating on many levels, including mental and economical. The AHRC's 2018 fourth national survey, Everybody's Business, reveals that the nature and type of harassment differs according to age, disability, sexual orientation and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status.
Power inequality, including gender disparity, is a key driver of sexual harassment.
WIFT have endorsed the NOW Australia submission to the Inquiry. NOW Australia is a not for profit organisation dedicated to stopping sexual harassment in all Australian workplaces. Katrina Irawati Graham, WIFT Australia Chair and Queensland Board Member and NOW Australia Board Director, has been involved with NOW Australia's submission to the AHRC Inquiry.
You can read the full NOW Australia submission and WIFT Australia's letter of endorsement in our resource section.
Codes of Conduct
The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance joined forces with the Screen Producers Association and Live Performance Australia to create codes of conduct for both the screen industry and live performance industry. Both codes commit workers to positive conduct while engaged by the production company. They can be downloaded at MEAA Screen Industry Code & Live Performance Industry Code.
Screen Australia implemented a Code of Conduct to Assist the Prevention of Sexual Harassment for all productions approved for funding from 2 April 2018. This Code clarifies the responsibility of Producers to ensure their workplaces are free of harassment and assault with financial implications if incidents are not handled appropriately. WIFT Australia have given feedback on both drafts code of conduct. More information can be found at Screen Australia Code of Conduct.