‘Lack of support’ for women who work on remote islands
More than 100 women working on remote remote Australian islands have told the ABC they have experienced sexual assault and harassment and were not allowed to leave their homes or work on the islands.
Key points:Women are being asked to sign a pledge saying they will not return to the islands if they feel unsafeLiving on remote Australia’s remote islands is often dangerous, and women who have experienced workplace sexual assault are often asked to join a pledge to support themLiving on the remote island of Aranjara in the Torres Strait, women who worked in the community for years have been left frustrated by their government’s failure to ensure they could return to their homes and work.
Key point:Women working on the island have complained to the ABC about sexual assault, harassment and lack of supportLiving on Aranjoa in the Northern Territory, women told the BBC they had experienced workplace discrimination, sexual assault or harassment and felt left out of the process.
They said they felt unsafe when they could not leave their home or work because they were not being paid the minimum wage and their employers did not offer paid leave or paid holidays.
“It’s a lot of frustration, because it’s very hard to work in remote areas because it can be dangerous, it can mean being alone,” said one of the women, who did not want to be named.
“We feel like we’re doing the same work and we’re not getting the same pay and that’s just not good enough.”
The women said they had felt pressured to return to Aranjaa even though the government had not made any effort to recruit women to work on Arcanjara.
“I feel like the Government is not doing anything to get these women back, it’s just putting them on the back foot,” one of them said.
“They just put pressure on us.”
You get the idea that the Government needs to do something about the problem.
“The Women’s Refugee Commission of Australia (WRCA) has also been unable to get answers from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) about the number of cases of sexual assault on remote Australian remote islands, including Aranjuara and Aranjea.
A spokesman for the department said it was not able to provide a response to the WRCA’s inquiry, which was submitted by a representative from the organisation in June this year.
He said the department had conducted an internal review of the department’s policies and procedures and the WRCAs findings were being reviewed.”
Our assessment of these matters is still ongoing,” the spokesman said.
Topics:government-and-politics,government- and-politics-and–politics-ruled-government,australiaFirst posted March 07, 2019 15:04:46Contact Kelly O’ConnellMore stories from New South Wales