“The time is now” is the powerful message of a new campaign spearheaded by 30 Australian women to help end sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
With journalist Tracey Spicer at the helm, NOW is Australia’s much-needed answer to the Time’s Up movement.
The not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation aims to raise $250,000 to assist those who have been sexually harassed, assaulted and intimidated in the workplace by providing legal support and counselling.
NOW has the support of an impressive lineup of famous faces, including singer Missy Higgins, actress Deborah Mailman, The Preatures’ Isabella Manfredi and broadcaster Faustina Agolley.
“NOW is more than a call for change. It’s the place people can have that crucial first conversation about what they’re going through,” Spicer said. “By connecting them to the support and advice they need, we’re also providing the strategies to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace for the next generation.”
She added: “Women of colour, those with a disability, and LGBTI people are particularly vulnerable.”
Isabella Manfredi, who has spoken out about sexual harassment in the music industry, says on the NOW website: “We need to challenge the belief that things can never change.
“Systematic bullying, harassment and abuse in the workplace – there’s nothing normal or necessary about it. The difference is now, as you stand up for yourself, others stand beside you.”
The NOW movement has been a long time in the making for Spicer. In a callout on Twitter in November, the journalist encouraged Australians to share their #MeToo stories. She received more than 1600 responses.
According to a recent Australian Bureau of Statistic study, one in two women (53% or 5 million) and one in four men (25% or 2.2 million) had experienced sexual harassment during their lifetime.
Earlier this month, the landmark ‘Women and the Future of Work’ report shone a spotlight on the ‘shocking levels’ of sexual misconduct and inequality in the workplace. The report found one in 10 working women said they were experiencing sexual harassment in their current jobs, and less than a third of all young Australian women believe they are treated equally to men at work.
You can donate to NOW here.