Australian PM Denies Lying About Invitation to Speak at Women's Rally Amid Organizer's Claims

Australian PM Albanese denies lying about speaking at women's rally against gender-based violence, as organizer accuses him of "entitlement" and "abusing power." Albanese calls urgent meeting to address national crisis of violence against women.

Mahnoor Jehangir
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Australian PM Denies Lying About Invitation to Speak at Women's Rally Amid Organizer's Claims

Australian PM Denies Lying About Invitation to Speak at Women's Rally Amid Organizer's Claims

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has denied lying about being invited to speak at a women's rally against gender-based violence in Canberra, Australia, amid claims from the event organizer, Sarah Williams. Albanese attended the 'No More' rally on Sunday, which was one of several held across the country to call for increased action and funding to address the issue of violence against women.

According to Albanese, he and Finance Minister Katy Gallagher had asked to speak at the rally but were told it was not possible. However, Williams disputed this account, claiming that Albanese had lied and was never denied the opportunity to speak. She accused the Prime Minister of demonstrating "entitlement" and "abusing his power" by demanding to speak and then lying about it.

During his speech at the rally, Albanese acknowledged that violence against women is a national crisis and called for widespread change to address the problem. He committed to convening an urgent meeting of the national cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the issue with state and territory leaders. Albanese also listed some of the actions his government has taken, such as providing family violence payments and housing support, but the crowd called for more concrete measures.

The rally organizers challenged the government to declare violence against women a national emergency and provide increased funding for domestic and sexual violence services, enhanced reporting options, and new rules to prevent media from publishing images of women killed by men for 48 hours. However, the ministers in attendance, including Albanese, did not respond to the request, leading to frustration among the protesters.

Why this matters: The dispute between Prime Minister Albanese and rally organizer Sarah Williams highlights the ongoing tensions and challenges in addressing the crisis of gender-based violence in Australia. The rallies across the country demonstrate the growing public demand for more comprehensive and urgent action from the government to tackle this issue.

Independent senator David Pocock and MP Dai Le, who also attended the rally, called for men to step up and help women feel safer by calling out misogyny and being educated to respect women. Albanese acknowledged that the government's $2.3 billion, 10-year plan to end domestic violence, unveiled in October 2022, is not enough and that addressing the issue requires a sustained, long-term effort across all levels of society. Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said the government would have "more to say" soon about additional measures but emphasized that progress will not happen overnight.

Key Takeaways

  • PM Albanese denies lying about being invited to speak at women's rally against gender violence.
  • Organizer Sarah Williams accused Albanese of "entitlement" and "abusing power" by demanding to speak.
  • Albanese acknowledged violence against women as a national crisis, called for urgent action.
  • Protesters demanded government declare violence against women a national emergency, increase funding.
  • Albanese, ministers did not respond to protesters' requests, highlighting ongoing challenges in addressing issue.