Poland: Waves of Feminism

Poland has seven waves of feminist movements. They have been silenced, embraced, and delivered to the women of Poland.

Today, Poland is known to be an active human rights fighter, notwithstanding the struggles between the people and the government. They celebrate International Women’s Day, which is very important to the Polish. On this day, many large feminist groups hold demonstrations in major cities and women receive flowers from employers and families. The movements focus on equal treatments towards women and men, as well as the women’s rights to abortion and divorce.

In 2012, Poland implemented blanket ban on abortion to all women (Amnesty International). Women who desired abortion for the case of rape and health problems lost their rights and access to it. Recently, in June 2013, Poland rejected a 14 year-old rape victim’s appeal to have her lawful abortion, and outraged many NGOs. In 1956, Poland legalized abortion and claimed that the feminist movements had their demands fulfilled (U.S Department of State). The European Court of Human Rights held Poland responsible for this unfair treatment to the young rape victim. The victim had the legal rights to have abortion; however, she was denied the access to it by medical institutions in Poland and was harassed by them. This incident led the UN to assess Poland’s human rights record and ask Poland to improve access to reproductive health services, especially lawful abortion. However, Poland retaliated, “rejecting the proposal to widen legal access to abortion, introducing comprehensive sex education and subsidizing contraception” (Amnesty International).

Truly, despite the loud voices of the feminist movements in Poland, the country still needs to change for the better, especially for the women. Although Polish women are fighting for their rights, the government believes that they have been given enough as women. The women have untapped potentials to rise higher and gain more power. However, only by being vocal and firm in their beliefs will they reach their goals and equality. They should utilize any source to their advantages and make sure they will be heard.  And as one of the most prominent voices in their rebellion, literature should continue being the tool to expose the gender inequality and women’s discrimination in Poland.

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