who filed a formal complaint against a colleague last week over a recent case of sexual harassment. “Everyone is on alert now and wondering: Where are we going from here?”

Jo Dyer, a friend of the woman who accused Mr. Porter, said she and many others would continue to push for an independent inquiry into the rape allegation, noting that changing Mr. Porter’s role did not address the larger question of whether he was fit for public office.

defamation claim against the Australian Broadcasting Corporation over its coverage of the rape allegation.

The prime minister said he had retained Mr. Porter in the cabinet because he was “a very capable minister.”

In a statement, Mr. Porter said he did not regret filing the defamation lawsuit, and would give his new portfolio “all the energy and commitment I have.”

View Source

‘March 4 Justice’: Thousands Turn Out in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia — Wearing black and holding signs reading “enough is enough,” thousands took to the streets across Australia on Monday to protest violence and discrimination against women, as a reckoning in the country’s halls of power sparked by multiple rape allegations continued to grow.

The marches in at least 40 cities represented an outpouring of anger from women about a problem that has gone unaddressed for too long, said the organizers, who estimated that 110,000 people attended the demonstrations nationwide.

With the next national election potentially coming as early as August, experts say it is something that the conservative government, which has come under stinging criticism for the way it has handled the allegations, ignores at its own peril.

The public anger over violence against women mirrored sentiments on display in London last weekend. There, thousands joined protests over the killing of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who disappeared while walking home at night earlier this month.

allegation that she was raped in Parliament House in 2019 rocked the nation’s halls of power and prompted Monday’s marches, appeared at the Canberra protest. She said that there was a “horrible societal acceptance” of sexual violence in Australia.

“My story was on the front page for the sole reason that it was a painful reminder to women that if it can happen in Parliament House, it can truly happen anywhere,” she said.

saying on Twitter: “We have already come to the front door, now it’s up to the government to cross the threshold and come to us. We will not be meeting behind closed doors.”

settled a defamation complaint and agreed to pay damages to Ms. Higgins after calling her a “lying cow.”

“A government that’s been described as having a ‘women problem’ for several years is now really in trouble with women,” said Sarah Maddison, a politics professor at the University of Melbourne.

“I can’t remember a time I’ve seen and personally experienced the level of distress women are experiencing now,” she said. “I think there’s something here with this level of distress that is producing quite an extraordinary moment in our politics.”

Support for the Liberal Party has been slowly declining among women for years, said Sarah Cameron, a lecturer in politics at the University of Sydney, although it was not enough to stop the party from winning the last federal election in 2019. Dr. Cameron added that the party “ignores this trend at their peril.”

In Sydney, organizers estimated that at least 10,000 people gathered in the central business district.

There, Michael Bradley, the lawyer for a now-deceased woman who had said she was sexually assaulted in 1988 by a man who is currently a member of Parliament, called for reforming the justice system. Earlier this month, Attorney General Christian Porter, 50, confirmed that he was the subject of the allegation.

statement of claim filed by his lawyers said that the article, which did not name Mr. Porter, made defamatory imputations.

In an email statement, the ABC said it “will be defending the action.”

View Source