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Today, thousands of women across Australia marched for justice - hear us now

Justice and action.

By Jess Pullar
Trigger warning: This post deals with topics including sexual harassment and sexual violence.
It's one of those moments you feel truly empowered - goosebumps on the back of your neck, your heart races, you feel part of something.
Today, people from across Australia marched for women, for justice, and for action against sexual violence and harassment.
We marched those who have been silenced, for those who speak out, and for the women who will continue to be faced with a culture that, be it subconsciously or consciously, quietens our voices and abuses gender disparity.
Marches across Australia's main cities, named Women's March 4 Justice, were held on March 15 in the wake of several troubling and concerning stories to emerge from the Australian Government claiming Attorney-General, Christian Porter, raped a 16-year-old woman in 1988.
The Porter allegations come amid a groundswell of uprisings from trailblazing advocates such as Chanel Contos and Brittany Higgins.
The protests have also called on the public to sign a petition addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison that makes several requests to "put an end to the issues of sexism, misogyny, patriarchy, corruption, dangerous workplace cultures and lack of equality in politics and the community at large."
At the same time, a renewed wave for justice for women surged over the weekend following the horrendous murder of Sarah Everard, allegedly at the hands of a male Met police officer in London.
It's sparked an international conversation, one that's been rumbling for years, about the double standards and common misogyny women feel on a day-to-day basis at the hands of men.
It's a conversation that's worth all of our time as we seek a world where women can feel completely at ease and safe to simply walk through the streets to their home - during the day and night.
Protesters gathered in Sydney today as thousands marched for women's justice. (Supplied)
At its core, it's a task that takes work, effort and drive. Educate men, talk to them from their youth, train them into the mindset that all genders are equal.
Yes, this isn't going to happen overnight - but today, we saw a movement that will not be stopped.
Speaking at Hobart's march, Australian of the Year Grace Tame, who is a sexual assault survivor herself and kick-started the viral campaign, #LetHerSpeak, told crowds: "We may be a small community, but we are leading the nation. That is a testament to the power of solidarity. It's a testament to the power of hope, resilience and a refusal to let fear stop us from doing anything."
"You know, as is often the case when an issue that has been shrouded in darkness for such a long time is suddenly thrust into the light, there's widespread shock and disbelief over how something so evil could happen, and not just happen, but happen so ubiquitously. And the answer is plain and simple - silence.
"Evil thrives in silence. Behaviour unspoken, behaviour ignored, is behaviour endorsed."
Grace Tame stoically spoke at the march in Hobart today. (Getty)
Former liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who has alleged she was raped by a colleague at Parliament House, also shared some empowering words at Canberra's march.
"I speak to you today out of necessity. We are all here today not because we want to be here, because we have to be here," she said.
She continued: "We fundamentally recognise the system is broken, the glass ceiling is still in place, and there are significant failings in the power structures within our institution. We are here because it is unfathomable that we are still having to fight this same stale, tired fight."
"We fundamentally recognise the system is broken," Brittany Higgins told crowds in Canberra. (Supplied)
As we continue to stand by these brave women who speak out, and as we continue to march, let the feeling of togetherness envelop you.
This, in itself is what we need - hope.
As mentioned, this is a big task, one that will take all of our voices, our conversations, our education, and our own self-education.
But looking at Australia today, it's pertinently clear: We have momentum. We can do it.
Let's march together - hear our voices now.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
To speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.

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