There are plenty of female faces in the corridors of Parliament but women have no real “shared power” in Australian politics, former Labor MP Emma Husar has claimed.

In an exclusive interview with Central News, Ms Husar said the Liberal party was unwilling to promote women, and power in the Labor party remained in the hands of “the faceless men in the back rooms that are wheeling and dealing”.

“Whilst there might be a lot of female faces in there – the dress code’s changed – there isn’t a lot of shared power, so the women don’t have a lot of power… there is that inability for women to have genuine power,” she said.

Her comments came as Canberra reckons with its toxic culture in the wake of Brittney Higgins’ accusation of being raped in defence minister Linda Reynolds’ office in 2018 and a historic rape allegation against Attorney-General Christian Porter – an accusation he vehemently denies.

Ms Husar also claimed she could see signs of a push within the government to get rid of Ms Reynolds, while the PM simultaneously threw his support behind Mr Porter.

The former MP for Lindsey, who resigned from her seat in 2018 over accusations of harassment and misconduct that were later proven to be unsubstantiated, said parliamentary culture needed to fundamentally change to ensure women are not the victims of sexism, misogyny and double standards.

She added the issue of harassment stems from the broader societal issues women face, saying politicians look at misogyny “through the political lens, it’s not a political problem, this is a societal problem, stop looking through just a single lens of being in politics.”


Main picture Emma Husar at the Perth March 4 Justice rally (Photo supplied by Emma Husar).

The interview was conducted on the eve of the March 4 Justice protests.