Girls take over Parliament to protest image-based bullying

in Press Releases

Media Release - 23 November 2018

Girls and young women from around Australia will be taking over Federal Parliament on 28 November, and are calling for all states and territories to promote positive conversations around respectful relationships in schools and communities, and to criminalise image-based bullying.

Girls Takeover Parliament is an international bipartisan program that pairs young women and girls with politicians to ensure their points of view are heard.

This year, 31 girls and young women aged 11-25 from across Australia will be hijacking the seats of 31 Federal politicians, including the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tanya Plibersek, Greens Leader Senator Richard di Natale and Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer.

Canberra-based Girls Takeover Parliament co-founder Caitlin Figueiredo’s efforts were recognised when she was named on Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 for challenging conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation of female leaders

Caitlin, 23 and CEO of social enterprise Jasiri Australia, said Girls Takeover Parliament aims to change existing structures that hold back women and girls.

“In Australia, women hold less than a third of all seats in parliament, and less than a quarter of ministerial portfolios,” she said.

“We want young girls and women from all backgrounds to look at our political system and see themselves represented, see people who inspire them and show they can do it. Young girls and women need to know they are capable and are supported to follow their dreams.”

This year, Girls Takeover Parliament is highlighting image-based bullying, saying one in five girls and women have experienced it. Tasmania and Queensland are now the only states in Australia not to have criminalised image-based bullying.

Image based bullying is when intimate or sexual photos/videos are shared online without consent, either to humiliate or shame someone, or for ‘entertainment’.

Unfortunately, image based bullying is gendered, with women more than twice as likely to have had it happen, and higher rates for LGBTI and young people.

“Image based bullying is on the rise in Australia,” Caitlin said.

 “We all have a role to play in promoting positive behaviour. There needs to be more investment in school and community-based programs which promotes serious, truthful, straightforward and thoughtful conversations that recognise sexuality in a digital world. Young people must be empowered to make informed decisions around posting images.”

For more information about Girls Takeover Parliament, please visit www.jarisi.com.au

To read about Supre Foundation’s campaign, Share this! Image Based Abuse So Not OK! visit www.bullyingsonotok.com

For interviews and more information, please contact Deb Morris on 0450 784 847 or email on deb.morris@amf.org.au

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