The Effects of the Economic and Political Transition on Women and Families in Poland

  • Jill M. Bystydzienski
Part of the International Council for Central and East European Studies book series (ICCEES)


This chapter focuses on what I consider to be the most crucial problems facing women and families in Poland, problems which have emerged or have been exacerbated owing to the economic and political changes currently affecting the country. These problems include unemployment and a falling standard of living, the lack of substantial female political representation and the virtual absence of a women’s agenda in the new so-called ‘democratic’ government, the erosion of social welfare provisions which has all but wiped out the meagre gains women achieved under the socialist system, the curtailment of reproductive rights, especially the ban on abortions, and the lack of recognition of violence against women, including domestic violence.


Domestic Violence Parliamentary Election Socialist System Political Transition Catholic Church 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Joanna Regulska, ‘Women and Power in Poland: Hopes or Reality?’, in Jill M. Bystydzienski (ed.), Women Transforming Politics: Worldwide Strategies for Empowerment (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), pp. 175–91Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Grazyna Uscinska, ‘Prawo pracy i sViadczenia krötkookresowe z ubiezpieczenia spotecznego’ (The right to work and short-term social security), Legal Situation of Women in Poland (Warsaw: Bureau for Women’s Affairs, 1990).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Piotr Antoniewicz and Jan Kazimierski, ‘Praca zawodowa w świadomości zatrudnionych’ (Professional work in the consciousness of workers), Kobieta Lat Osiemdziesiatych (Woman of the Eighties) (Warsaw: Niezalezna Oficyna Wydawnicza, 1988), pp. 120–63Google Scholar
  4. Renata Siemieńska, ‘Women and the Family in Poland’, in Eugen Lupri (ed.), The Changing Position of Women and Family in Society (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1983), pp.276–95.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Ibid., p. 12; Teresa Sasinska-Klas, ‘The Social Ramifications of the Transition: Why Women Carry the Heavier Burden’, paper presented at the Fifth World Congress of Central and East European Studies, Warsaw, Poland (6–11 August 1995).Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    Renata Siemieńska, ‘Women and Social Movements in Poland’, Women and Politics 6, no.4 (1986), pp.5–35.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    Anna Pomian, ‘Political Activism and its Consequences for Polish Women’, Polish Independent Press Review, 26 August 1989, pp.23–9Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Juliusz Urbanowicz, ‘Government Abortion Tussle: It’s Getting Ugly, Voice News, 18 December 1992, p. 3Google Scholar
  9. Aleksandra Waldoch, ‘Goryszewski Blasts Suchocka: Abortion Shakes the Coalition’, Voice News, 3 January 1993, p. 2.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Malgorzata Fuszara, ‘Legal Regulation of Abortion in Poland’, Signs 17, no.1 (Autumn 1991), pp.73–95.Google Scholar
  11. 23.
    Marian Kallas (ed.), Projekty Konstytucyjne 1989–1991 (Draft Constitutions, 1989–1991) (Warsaw: Sejm Press, 1992), pp.54–94.Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    Dorota J. Bartyzel, ‘A Never-Ending Controversy’, Voice News, 10 July 1992, p. 5.Google Scholar
  13. 31.
    Agnieszka Sowa, ‘Cesarskie Ciencie’ (Caesarian section), Wprost, 1993, No. 3 (17 January), p.26.Google Scholar
  14. 32.
    Pelle Neroth, ‘A Report on Abortion Excursions in Poland’, The European, 11 November) 1993, pp. 8–9.Google Scholar
  15. 34.
    Maxine Baca Zinn and D. Stanley Eitzen, Diversity in Families, 2nd edn (New York: Harper & Row, 1990), p. 328Google Scholar
  16. Margrit Eichler, Families in Canada Today: Recent Changes and Their Consequences, 2nd edn (Toronto: Gage, 1988), p.66Google Scholar
  17. Jill M. Bystydzienski, ‘Marriage and Family in the United States and Canada: A Comparison’, The American Review of Canadian Studies 23, no.4 (Winter 1993), pp.565–82.Google Scholar
  18. 35.
    Larry L. Tifft and Lynn Markham, ‘Battering Women and Battering Central Americans: A Peacemaking Synthesis’, in Harold E. Pepinsky and Richard Quinney (eds), Criminology as Peacemaking (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), pp. 114–53Google Scholar
  19. 38.
    Agnieszka Kublik, ‘Battered Wives Find Little Legal Help’, Gazeta Wyborcza, 20 October 1993, pp. 8–9.Google Scholar
  20. 41.
    Magdalena Sokolowska, ‘Poland: Women’s Experience Under Socialism’, in J. Zollinger Giele and Audrey Chapman Smolck (eds), Women: Roles and Status in Eight Countries (New York: Wiley, 1977), pp.347–83.Google Scholar
  21. 42.
    Jean Robinson, ‘Women and Socialism: The Polish Experience’, Women’s Studies in Indiana 14, September–October 1988, pp. 1–4.Google Scholar
  22. 44.
    Jill M. Bystydzienski, ‘Women in Politics in Norway’, Women and Politics 8, no.3/4 (1988), pp.73–95.Google Scholar
  23. 47.
    Monika Platek, ‘What It’s Like for Women: Criminology in Poland and Eastern Europe’, in Nicole Rafter and Frances Heidensohn (eds), International Feminist Perspectives in Criminology (Bristol, PA: Open University Press, 1995)Google Scholar
  24. Agnieszka Swiecka, ‘Family Violence Hot-line: Awash in Domestic Crises’, Voice News, 30 July 1995, p. 6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill M. Bystydzienski

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations