Human Rights House Foundation

Poland

Image: Women’s Solidarity March in the streets of Warsaw 
Copyright: http://www.manifa.org/

Women’s Solidarity March in the streets of Warsaw

The annual demonstration called “Manifa”, took place in Warsaw two days before the International Woman’s Day. “Manifa” is a woman’s solidarity march organized by the feminist group The Women’s Agreement of 8th March. The slogan of this year’s demonstration was “Enough of the exploitation of women! We terminate the domestic service!”.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Participants of the demonstration were protesting for better protection of the employment relationship. According to the latest data almost 28 percent of Polish employees are employed on the basis of a contract for specific work or a mandate contract which provide a far weaker protection for the employee than a proper employment agreement. The participant also wanted an increase in the number of day nurseries and kindergartens. They were carrying banners with slogans such as “Democracy without women is only a half of democracy” or  “Open for us the door to parliament”.

The representative of The Women’s Agreement of 8th March (Porozumienie Kobiet 8. Marca) Elżbieta Korolczuk said in front of the Polish Sejm “We need to fight for equality on a everyday basis, combat inequality and change what we don’t like in labor unions, non-governmental organizations and at the workplace. We should remember that there are many competent women who want to fight discrimination”.

This year’s Manifa was dedicated to the memory of Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, the first Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment, who died in the air crash in Smoleńsk in April 2010. The first march was organized in 2000. Their main goal is to draw attention to the most pressing problems concerning the unequal treatment of women, such as the lack of a coherent family policy, health care, access to abortion and birth control and all forms of social exclusion based on ethnicity or sexual orientation.

According to the recent polls conducted by the Homo Homini Institute almost 95 percent of people in Poland claim that women in Poland are not discriminated. Only 3 percent express the opposite opinion and 2 percent have no opinion. The authors of the polls remind that the survey reflects only common opinions and not the actual situation.

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