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Technology and workplace sexual harassment

Sex Discrimination

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins says technology and online platforms present enormous opportunities to advance gender equality, however they can also be used to subject women to online harassment and abuse.

Commissioner Jenkins has hosted a workshop, as part of the Commission’s Human Rights and Technology conference, to discuss emerging issues around sexual harassment and abuse through technology.

“Technology and online platforms can be powerful tools for women to increase their social connectedness, and improve their economic security and access to information.

“The #MeToo movement for example, has shown us the power of a collective voice to spotlight the harm of sexual harassment. Social media also helps to amplify the voices of women who are often left behind in public debates.

“Unfortunately, social media and digital technology are also used to subject women to online harassment and abuse, including in the workplace and in public life,” Commissioner Jenkins said.

Commissioner Jenkins said the workshop discussions about the implications of technology will be part of the National Inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

The world first inquiry, announced in June, will consider the drivers of sexual harassment in the workplace and the adequacy of the existing legal framework, including a review of complaints made to state and territory anti-discrimination agencies.

It will also look at how people are using technology and social media to perpetrate workplace-related sexual harassment.

Find out more about the National Inquiry including details about how to make a submission here

Photo: Commissioner Kate Jenkins and eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant at the Human Rights and Technology workshop.