Kerri-Anne Kennerley is never one to shy away from voicing her opinion, and the 67-year-old has now weighed in on the string of sex scandals that have rocked Canberra in recent months.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph’s Confidential on Wednesday, the former Studio 10 presenter said the majority of men are “actually fantastic” and are being tarnished by a few bad seeds.
“Most [men] are actually fantastic,” she told the news outlet. “They want to help, they see the reasoning. There is only a small percentage of people who clearly have issues in their life.”
The television veteran went on to say that she wanted to see more men included in discussions around sexual violence against women.
“I think all the marches have been fabulous. I’d like to see one that has as many men marching for the same reason because it’s not a female problem it is a social problem.”
Last month, thousands of people across the country marched in events known as the March 4 Justice to protest against sexual abuse and harassment. The protests were sparked by ex-Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ rape allegations. In mid-February, Higgins alleged she was raped by a colleague in then-Defence Minister Linda Reynolds’ office in March 2019.
Kennerleys’s comments come as Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to reform sexual harassment and assault laws in Australia. Speaking to the press on Thursday, Morrison said the government will be adopting all recommendations of the [email protected] report in part or in full. The prime minister made the announcement after the new women’s taskforce met for the first time on Tuesday.
“According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, 39 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in recent times,” he said.
“The events around this building over the course of the past few months have only further highlighted and reinforced the seriousness of these issues, the challenge that we face and the great frustration that is felt by Australians, and, in particular, women all over the country.
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable. It’s not only immoral and despicable and even criminal, but particularly in the context of the respect at work report, it denies Australians, especially women, not just their personal security but their economic security by not being safe at work.”
Canberra has been hit with one sex scandal after another the last few months. Just last week, disgraced Nationals MP Michael Johnsen, who’s accused of raping a sex worker in the Blue Mountains in September 2019, quit New South Wales Parliament after reports surfaced he offered the woman $1,000 to attend state Parliament for sex that same year. He also allegedly sent the woman a string of lewd text messages and a video of himself performing a lewd act while at work.
A few weeks earlier, Channel 10 aired video footage that showed a Liberal staffer filming himself performing a lewd act on the desk of a female MP. The television network also aired claims that sex workers were brought into Parliament for MPs, and that employees regularly had sex in the building’s prayer room.
And prior to that, allegations surfaced that Attorney-General Christian Porter had been accused of a rape in the 1980s. Porter denies the accusation and is suing the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan over the story that first published the allegation.
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