Australia to tackle workplace sexual harassment amid backlash

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Australia will remove exemptions for judges and politicians from sexual harassment laws, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday, as his government struggles to contain a backlash over allegations of mistreatment of female lawmakers and staff.

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to tackle workplace sexual harassment in Australia, seeking to ease a backlash against his government over its handling of sexual assault allegations in parliament.

Mr Morrison said on Thursday (April 8) the government would adopt all 55 recommendations of a landmark report by Ms Kate Jenkins, the nation's sex discrimination commissioner.

"This is a culture we have to change across our society," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra. "Each and every one of us, individually, have a responsibility for our own behaviours and our own actions."

Poll ratings for Mr Morrison's conservative government have fallen amid criticism of its handling of rape allegations in parliament and lack of progress in addressing sexual harassment and gender inequality.

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken part in rallies across the nation demanding greater female representation in parliament and tougher action against sexual violence and discrimination.

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