On the occasion of the International Women's Day on 8 March, organised by transform! europe and the Polish Naprzód Foundation, this webinar brings together feminist activists to discuss the current struggle of Polish women and to reflect on the victorious pro-choice campaigns for accessible, free and safe abortion in Ireland and Argentina.
The long weeks of demonstrations that began last year showed the determination of Polish women to fight for their right to decide on issues concerning their own bodies. They also revealed the arrogance of the ruling elite towards the demonstrators; and how the government is using the country’s "reformed" state institutions for its own authoritarian means. It is not the first time that women in Poland have fallen victim to conservative powers. In 1993, the so-called abortion compromise was adopted, which was in fact a restrictive anti-abortion law. The Act only allowed abortion in a few exceptional cases. Since then, women in Poland have repeatedly called for the liberalisation of existing regulations. The “abortion compromise” blocked any attempt to liberalise the abortion law, even when centre-left parties governed. Last year, several far-right politicians (from the ruling party and the opposition far-right Confederation party) claimed that the exceptions in the law that allowed for pregnancy terminations were unconstitutional. At the end of the year the Constitutional Tribunal, under the control of the ruling party, declared that the regulations in force were unconstitutional, which in practice has led to a complete ban on abortion. Today's situation has undoubtedly been influenced by the Catholic Church and its position in the social and political life in Poland. However, looking at the victorious struggle of women in Ireland and Argentina, where the Church was also dominant, the struggle for accessible, free and safe abortion is winnable in Poland as well.
--- video in Polish below ---
Thursday, 4 March 2021
6pm–8pm CET (2pm–4pm Argentinian time, 5pm–7pm WET)
Languages: EN, ESP, PL
Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat, journalist, deputy editor-in-chief of strajk.eu, Poland
Agata Czarnacka, political philosopher, writer and activist, Poland
Laura Salomé, activist of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion, Argentina
Ailbhe Smyth, writer and activist, leader of the Together for YES campaign, Ireland
Presentation of the short film We've had enough!