The protests could be the “biggest uprising of women that Australia’s seen” as thousands demand government reform.
State organisers are calling for swift action to stamp out sexual assault and violence, in the wake of recent allegations towards the treatment of women.
The movement began 18 days ago when Melbourne academic Janine Hendry tweeted an idea to form a ring of people around Parliament House.
Aerial vision captured by 9News shows masses of people gathering in CBD locations around the country in protest.
Sydney march organiser Jaime Evans, 33, told 9news.com.au they decided to take action into their own hands after politicians had failed to put change in motion.
“We’re marching to say this problem is happening now, it’s happening far too often, and we need to do something about it,” she said.
“Our politicians response, our Prime Minister’s response hasn’t been good enough.
“If our leaders take away anything from today, it’s that they need to listen, and they need to act.”
The Women’s March 4 Justice movement, which has more than 40 rallies registered across the country, is calling for change in Federal Parliament, demanding all politicians address and “put an end to the issues of sexism, misogyny, dangerous workplace cultures and lack of equality in politics and the community at large”.
The demands include police investigations into all sexual assault allegations by members of Parliament, a federal ICAC investigation and an independent review by the High Court of Australia into gendered violence within Australia’s parliaments.
Ms Evans said women should be able to feel safe to move around in society without the fear of assault.
“Women should not and do not accept that the things we have to do to protect ourselves are a cost of living,” she said.
“Our freedom should not be included in that cost.
“The people that will be out there today are sending a message to the people who are survivors of violence and assault that we believe you and you deserve better than this and far better than the way you’ve been treated.
“So many women are having these horrific things happen in spaces where they should be safe.”
Lyndal Gowland, 62, of Gowland family lawyers, said she was particularly concerned over the large number of women and children dying from domestic violence.
“Women have been marginalised by the system,” she told 9news.com.au.
“I’m here to get justice for women.”
Mass rallies spawned by a tweet
The mass rallies across Australian cities all started with a tweet by organiser Janine Hendry last month, in the wake of sexual assault allegations in the nation’s Parliament.
The 58-year-old Melbourne academic pondered how many disgruntled women coming together around Parliament House it would take for politicians to action change.
“I need someone to tell me if this is possible,” she said.
“I then also need someone to estimate the distance and how many women we would need? I’m absolutely serious – if this is possible we need to protest at a time and place that tells not only this government, but the world that we’ve had enough.”