Prime Minister Scott Morrison has compared the peaceful March 4 Justice participants around Australia to democracy protesters in Myanmar who have faced live rounds from security forces in recent weeks.
"Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country," Mr Morrison told parliament in his remarks on the rallies taking place in 40 locations around Australia.
"It is good and right that so many are able to gather here in this way, whether in our capital or elsewhere, and to do so peacefully to express their concerns and their very genuine and real frustrations."
The Prime Minister was frequently drowned out in shouting from the non-government benches and the public galleries in his remarks just hours after former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins fronted the protest outside Parliament House on Monday.
Scott Morrison said he would have preferred to hear directly from a delegation of those who were attending the rally.
Instead, it was the Opposition leader Anthony Albanese who read to him the words Ms Higgins told the rally outside.
Mr Morrison said his offer to meet with a delegation was made in a good faith and he respects their right to choose not to meet with him. He said if they had met he would have advised them of the bipartisan efforts being made to prevent violence against women.
"But the outcomes still elude us," Mr Morrison told parliament, noting the Coalition in opposition had supported the Gillard government's first national action plan to reduce violence against women.
One in four women have experienced intimate partner violence since the age of 15, the Prime Minister said. One woman dies every nine days at the hand of a current or former partner. Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hopsitalised than non-Indigenous women.
The government's job is still not done, Mr Morrison told the parliament. It was his government's ambition that women be safe in their workplace and community.
"The government understands and shares the frustrations of women and men across this country who want to see women safe in their workplace, want to see them safer in our community, they want to see them safer in this building and want them to see all of their aspirations achieved in this country as they should," he said.
Mr Albanese said the words were a "wall of concrete" to the women roaring outside Parliament House.
"They're crying out that this is a moment that requires leadership," Mr Albanese said. "Forget about the political management, just listen to what they're saying and then act because we are in a position to act."
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