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Polish women’s movement : challenges to the development of a cohesive movement Novak, Marya Michaline 2002

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POLISH W O M E N ' S M O V E M E N T : C H A L L E N G E S TO THE D E V E L O P M E N T OF A COHESIVE SOCIAL M O V E M E N T by Marya Michaline Novak B.A. , The University of British Columbia, 1998 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of'Anthropology-& Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming To the reguired standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A July 2002 © Marya Michaline Novak In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Faculty of Graduate Studies The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date July 2, 2002 11 ABSTRACT The Polish women's movement has a long history and has undergone dramatic growth and change since Poland's transition to a market economy. Research in the early nineties identified the women's movement as being cohesive. Current data, based on in-depth interviews with the heads of women's organizations, reveals that the movement is not cohesive and is instead fragmented. A n analysis of the lack of social cohesion will be based on Jane Jenson's five dimensions of cohesion and will determine what possibilities there are for the development of a cohesive women's movement in contemporary Polish society. In addition, Gramscian, Resource Mobilization and New Social Movement Theories will be compared and contrasted to show how political/cultural, economic/structural and social/psychological factors influenced the re-emergence of the women's movement at the time of the Solidarity movement, the period during which the women's movement separated from Solidarity, and the last part of the 1990s when efforts were made to develop a women's consciousness. These perspectives take into account the importance of issues of consciousness in the development of identity in the women's movement, and demonstrate how different factors affected the movement but with differing degrees of influence. T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S Abstract i i Table of Contents i i i List of Tables v List of Figures . vi Acknowledgements vii CHAPTER I Introduction 1 1.1 Social Cohesion and Civil Society 9 1.2 The Issues of Cohesion and Consciousness in Relation to the Women's Movement 15 1.3 Three Theoretical Perspectives of Social Movements: Gramscian, Resource Mobilization Theory, and New Social Movement Theory.. 18 CHAPTER II Cohesion or Fragmentation in the Polish Women's Movement 27 2.1 The Women's Movement as Allegedly Cohesive 28 2.2 Coalition Organizations 30 2.3 Women's Organizations 35 2.4 How Cohesive is the Women's Movement? :... .50 2.5 Social Cohesion: Similarities and differences Between Polish and Western European Women' s Movements 51 CHAPTER III The Bifurcation Between Right and Left Ideologies 56 3.1 Effects of the Left/Right Split on Alliances in the Women's Movement 61 CHAPTER IV The Historical Development of the Maternal Image and its Effects on the Polish Women's Movement 65 4.1 The Origins of the Polish Women's Movement 65 4.2 Relations of Production and Reproduction Past and Present: The Basis for Two Major Issues for the Women's Movement in Poland 69 4.3 The Fight Over Women's Reproductive Rights 76 CHAPTER V Political and Cultural Analyses of the Women's Movement 81 5.1 Three Theoretical Perspectives and Stages of the Polish Women's Movement 1980-1999 81 5.2 Stage One-Seemingly Parallel Ideologies: The Re-emergence of the Women's Movement and the Emergence of Solidarity 82 5.3 Stage Two - Break From Solidarity and the Development of the Polish Women's Movement as a Mass Social Movement 92 5.4 Stage Three - Raising Consciousness in the Polish Women's Movement: Barriers to Developing a Common Identity 102 CHAPTER VI What Are the Future Possibilities For the Polish Women's Movement? 107 6.1 Conclusion 114 Bibliography 121 V LIST OF T A B L E S Table 1. Organizations Successfully Contacted for Interviews 6 Table 2. Development of Women's Movement By Organization Type 29 Table 3. Percentages of Men and Women Earning Gross Monthly Wages Ranging from 650 to 4500+ Zloty (Statistical Yearbook 2000, pp. 162-163) 73 Table 4. Influence of Three Theoretical Models at Three Stages of the Women's Movement 108 vi LIST OF F IGURES Figure 1.1 The Polity Model 21 Figure 1.2 The Mobilization Model 22 Vll ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank several people for their guidance and support in the preparation of this thesis. In particular, I would like to thank my thesis advisor, Professor Brian Elliott, who devoted many hours to reading various drafts of my research proposal and thesis, and who provided me with invaluable suggestions throughout the course of the research. I would also like to thank thesis committee members, Professor Bob Ratner, whose expertise in the area of Social Movements enabled me to focus on theoretical perspectives that guided my research and Professor Ralph Matthews, whose suggestions sharpened my understanding of the various aspects of consciousness which were integral part of this final work. Finally, I would also like to thank Ph.D. candidate, Ewa Pielacha for her many hours of discussions, thoughts and insights in relation to the Polish politics and her experience in the Solidarity movement. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The last two decades of the twentieth century in Poland represent a period of significant change in Polish culture, politics and economics, which has resulted in distinct consequences for women. The Solidarity movement, particularly from 1980-81, witnessed Polish women taking an active role in demonstrations and strikes. During the period of Martial Law, women were intensely involved in various underground activities and were largely responsible for keeping the movement alive until the end of the Communist period in Poland (Long 1996, pp. 167-70). By the late 1980s, Solidarity was no longer simply a trade union movement but instead had developed into a movement that promoted political reform and, in 1989, was re-legalized by the Polish government (Kloc 1991). The early 1990s marked Poland's transition from the end of Communist regulation of the state to a free market economy, and the proliferation of women's organizations promoting women's rights and bringing the women's movement in Poland to the attention of the West (Renne 1997). Two authors, Barbara Einhorn and Tanya Renne, in their discussion of the formation of women's groups in Poland indicate there is cooperation amongst women's organizations, especially in response to proposed changes affecting reproductive rights: Women's groups are plentiful relative to other countries, and the movement has both academic and grassroots activist groups.. .the groups had not mixed together much until the recent successful attack on abortion rendered it all but illegal and brought forces from all over Polish society together to fight back (Renne 1997, p.4). 2 Einhorn stresses the fact that the threat to reproductive rights was the catalyst for the formation of many new organizations that "united in their defense of women's right to reproductive choice.. .and that the Church-sponsored anti-abortion campaign helped cement diverse women's groups" (1993, p. 191-2). Based on the perspectives of these two authors, I felt compelled to investigate the issue of cohesion in relation to the women's movement in Poland. Cultural and political forces have played an important role in shaping Polish society. The focus of my research has been to determine how these same forces have challenged the development of a cohesive women's movement in Poland. Articles which deal with women's issues and the women's movement in Poland have been written by Polish authors and scholars from several other countries. Polish sociologists such as Malgorzata Fuszara (1997, 1994, 1993, 1991) and Anna Titkow (1998, 1994) examine the issues of abortion, and women's rights and status in Poland. Many of the women's groups that developed from 1989 through the early 1990s were formed to protest anti-abortion legislation: In many respects, 1989 was the beginning of a new era. Among other things, a draft of an abortion act was submitted to the Diet. The most interesting effect of its submission was the activation of women's groups, the emergence of women's organizations, and other attempts at the articulation of women's needs (Fuszara 1997, p. 134). Both Fuszara and Titkow explore the effects of the economic transition on women; unemployment rates among women are significantly higher than among men and the responsibilities of family care often hinder women's availability and options for employment. American and British academics, Kristi Long (1996) and Ann Reading 3 (1992) focus on women's participation in Solidarity and how the effects of this involvement has contributed to the formation of women's groups after Solidarity. The literature illustrates the issues affecting women in Poland since the transition, women's activism in Solidarity, and provides detailed information on the women's movement in the early 1990s. What needs to be asked at this point, however, is how well the women's organizations, many of which emerged in response to anti-abortion legislation, have maintained their focus on women's issues and what forces have facilitated and hindered these organizations in the development of a sustainable, cohesive women's movement. In order to examine the processes facilitating and/or inhibiting social cohesion in the women's movement, we need to consider what kinds of "data" would provide the necessary information to assess such processes. Given the limitations - distance, limited funds, linguistic challenges - what sort of data could be collected to be used as evidence? There is much information to be derived from secondary sources on women's organizations in Poland and women's issues in the early 1990s. A wide selection of research on women's groups and issues has been published in texts, anthologies and a variety of journals. What is missing from these sources is information on women's organizations after they have been established, especially in the late 1990s. In addition, information about women's organizations in the secondary sources is quite general and is inadequate to illustrate the complexity of the networks that have been established within and between various groups, the consciousness and identity that develops among members of a particular group, the size and diversity of the membership, 4 the structural organization of the groups, and detailed information on how resources are mobilized. M y research in Poland was intended to assemble data that were not available at the time in the secondary sources. Prior to my research in Poland in the fall of 1999,1 participated in an Eastern European ethnographic field study course, which provided me with the opportunity to observe the effects of gloabalization/westernization on Eastern European countries. Although our field studies did not include Poland, I continued on to Poland where I spent close to three weeks trying to determine i f research on women's organizations by someone who spoke little Polish was feasible. During my travels through Eastern Europe, I was able to meet with heads and members of a few women's organizations and I determined that the heads of most women's groups spoke English and that research on women's organizations was possible i f I limited my research to groups in major centers. The purchase of a directory of all officially registered women's organizations provided me with a detailed listing of registered women's organizations from which I could develop a sample for in-depth interviews. Because of the lack of money, I limited my focus on women's organizations to those located in two major cities: Cracow and Warsaw. M y stay with family in Cracow provided me with a base from which I was able to organize my research. In addition, Warsaw was close by and I was able to set appointments with a number of organizations over a two week period. During this period in Warsaw, I roomed with two students who attended a private university in Warsaw. Over a ten-week period, I conducted in-depth 5 interviews with the heads of fourteen women's organizations and foundations, and three research centers selected from the Directory of Women's Organizations and Initiatives in Poland. I also tried to meet with other women involved in these organizations when possible. In her article, "Women's Movements in Poland", Malgorzata Fuszara refers to the different types of women's organizations that emerged after 1989 and are listed in the Directory of Women's Organizations and Initiatives in Poland. I set up interviews with a variety of organizations in an attempt to obtain a representative, though very small, sample of the organizations listed in the directory. The directory lists associations, federations, clubs, foundations, charity organizations, religious groups, sections of political parties and trade unions, and women's centers. In addition, there are some institutions listed that provide special programs dedicated to issues facing women. Although, some of the organizations in the directory provide the numbers of members in the organization, my experience with the organizations I was able to contact was that most organizations had few, i f any active members. The two organizations which had several members present, Amazonki and Promyk, were also the two interview sessions in Cracow for which a translator was needed. In Warsaw, a translator was needed for the interview sessions with the heads of Solidarity Women's Sections and the Catholic Union of Women. The following table lists the organizations which I successfully contacted for interviews: 6 Table 1. Organizations Successfully Contacted for Interviews Name of Organization Type of Organization Number of Members Present at Interview (including Head) Federation of Polish Women's Clubs - Women After Mastectomy "Amazonki" Club 10 Association Against Family Violence - "Promyk" Association 7 Center for the Advancement of Women Association 1 League of Polish Women Association 1 Polish Committee of NGOs - Beijing 1995 Association 1 Women's Rights Center Foundation 1 Women's Foundation "eFKa" Foundation 1 PSF Women's Center Foundation 1 Polish Union of Catholic Women Religious Group 1 Polish Y W C A - Young Women's Christian Association Religious Group 2 Federation for Women and Family Planning Federation 1 National Women's Section of "Solidarity" Political Group 1 Foundation Running Women's The Stefan Batory Foundation Programs 2 Foundation for the Development of Polish Agriculture - Women in Rural Enterprise Development Program Foundation Running Women's Programs 1 Center for Social and Legal Studies on the Situation of Women, Institute of Applied Social Sciences, Warsaw University Women's Studies Center 1 Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of Polish Academy of Science, Women's Study Center Women's Studies Center 1 Interdisciplinary Research Group for the Research on Gender Issues In Society, Institute of Social Studies, Warsaw University Women's Studies Center 1 7 A comparison between Table 1 on the preceding page and Table 2 on page 28, shows that all the organization types listed in the 1997 edition of the directory were covered in the list of organizations with which interviews were held with the organization's head (and members in two cases). A l l of the organizations except one, Promyk, have either a national focus or are strongly linked with international organizations (Jagiello 1997). Promyk is a local, grassroots organization that was established with the support of the eFKa Foundation and is maintained by local volunteers. The members of Promyk keep in contact with and apply for funding from Polish foundations but so far have not officially sought for support from international bodies (Klimasara 1999). Like Amazonki, which focuses solely on breast cancer and related concerns, Promyk focuses on family violence issues - these two organizations represent single-issue groups in the research study. A l l the other organizations include a range of issues such as equality rights and economic rights, and some also focus on reproductive rights (though there are varying perspectives among the organizations). During my stay with family in Cracow, my cousins were able to describe in great detail the current issues affecting Polish people and what life had been like during the period of Martial Law in Poland and the period of transition in the early 1990s. The women I met through the interviews with members of women's organizations were all well educated and most were fluent in English. M y cousin, Edgar Bortel, a professor of Chemistry, accompanied me on two interviews in Cracow for which a translator was needed. In Warsaw, Kamila Keller, a psychology student currently working on her Master's degree, agreed to accompany me on two interviews with women who did not 8 speak English. Because women's organizations apply to international funding bodies for financial support, the proposals are usually prepared in English and it is advantageous for the heads of these organizations to be fluent in English. As I had discovered that it would be possible to conduct most of the interviews in English prior to my research study, I was much more confident about my ability to gather information about the current status of women's organizations in Poland. As mentioned earlier, there has been some consideration of the issue of cohesion in the literature on the Polish women's movement, yet such discussions are very limited and do not provide any conceptual definition of the term cohesion. However, in comparison, the issue of social cohesion has become a focal point of policy research in Canada especially in relation to the effects of expanding global markets on individuals and groups in Canadian society: "Global forces continue to pose serious threats to social cohesion and to frustrate society's ability to achieve social justice" ("Rekindling Hope..." 1999, p. 46). In addition, there is increased skepticism that the objectives of civil society - development of cooperative communities, economic security, and equitable participation/involvement of citizens in all aspects of society - can be realized ("Rekindling Hope..." 1999, p. 47). The same concerns and uncertainty about the future for Polish citizens and the government have been fueled by Poland's transition to a market economy (Sztompka 1998). Poland is still struggling to develop its civil society and consequently, the women's movement faces additional obstacles and difficulties with which social movements in other advanced democratic societies do not have to contend (Einhorn 1996). However, before any further discussion of social cohesion can take 9 place, the term "social cohesion" will need to be defined and operationalized. Jane Jenson's contribution to the research on social cohesion in Canada will be especially helpful in an analysis of the social cohesion of the Polish women's movement (1998). Jenson provides an explicit definition of social cohesion and develops five dimensions of social cohesion, which I will use in this paper to consider in what ways the women's movement over time is or is not cohesive, how cohesion is developed, and what obstacles prevent the women's movement from achieving cohesion. Social Cohesion and Civil Society The subject of cohesion and consciousness is central to this study of women's organizations and must also be considered in relation to civil society and citizenship. The discussion of cohesion will begin with a definition developed by the Canadian federal Policy Research Sub-Committee on Social Cohesion: "the ongoing process of developing a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunity within Canada, based on a sense of trust, hope and reciprocity among all Canadians" (Jenson 1998). Based in part on this definition, Jane Jenson has identified the following five dimensions of social cohesion: 1) Belonging/Isolation 2) Inclusion/Exclusion 3) Participation/Non-involvement 4) Recognition/Rejection 5) Legitimacy/Illegitimacy According to Jenson, the first dimension, belonging/isolation, is directly related to the idea of shared values and identity. Citizens who believe they can identify with others are able to feel committed to the community (1998). The market figures very importantly in 10 the second dimension. Inclusion/exclusion is demonstrated by whether or not citizens are able to contribute to and derive benefits from the market economy, and whether or not they have equal opportunities in the job market and access to information and knowledge. The third dimension represents the potential for citizen "involvement in institutions of government and voluntary association" (Jenson 1998, p 12). For example, citizens of British Columbia may feel their votes and voices, their participation in and contribution to institutions have the capacity to influence government on municipal, regional, and provincial levels, but have relatively little influence at the federal level. The fourth dimension, recognition/rejection, is particularly important in such a culturally diverse society as Canada. Institutions can either foster or undermine acceptance of differences among citizens and groups. Lastly, the dimension of legitimacy/illegitimacy is reflected by a society's ability to maintain links with citizens through the establishment of institutions such as advocacy groups and other nongovernmental institutions to political parties and governments, which fulfill the role of mediation in liberal democratic societies where public and private interests often conflict (Jenson 1998). What is important to note is that these dimensions are outlined in reference to democratic societies in which the development of civil society has occurred oyer a long period with substantial changes in the last three decades. The rights and responsibilities of citizens, individual and corporate, are both protected and regulated by social institutions designed to maintain the balance between the public and private domains: The concept of civil society alludes to the existence of organized public life and free associations beyond the tutelage of the state, yet oriented toward the public sphere and toward influencing public policies.. .[it] envisages the existence of public space that not only is structured politically 'from above', but also becomes increasingly 'open' to public debate and public opinion (Roniger 1998, pp. 67-8). 11 However, civil society has developed very differently in Poland. Even prior to the Solidarity movement, Poles had struggled toward the ideal of civil society by rebelling against the state control of the family and, what Habermas referred to as the "colonization of the life-world" (Layder 1994, pp. 196-7). Poles' repugnance toward state interference in the private domain became an important focus of the movement which was successful in fostering the development of mediating formal and informal, governmental and nongovernmental institutions and organizations so important to the development of civil society: "since 1989, we have witnessed a true explosion of such intermediate bodies, now official, legitimate and recognized" (Sztompka 1998, p. 192). The success of Solidarity is also evident in that Poland has ended the monopoly of state ownership, legitimizing individual, private ownership and bolstering the development of both large and small business enterprises. The transition to a market economy has occurred and, as Sztompka observes, "a sizeable middle class has emerged.. .[in this respect] civil society.. .has been at least partly reconstituted" (1998, p. 193). One of the most significant successes of the Solidarity movement in the development of civil society in Poland has been the rebuilding of a common Polish identity among various social and cultural groups. The shared beliefs, values and norms, and ideas of nationalism and freedom have long connected Poles and fueled their ideals of civil society, which in turn mobilized support for the Solidarity movement and ensured its success. However, in order to understand the profound significance of Poles' concept of civil society it is necessary to examine how these ideals developed. The Greco-Roman 12 world is regarded as being the basis for western civilization, yet early Polish humanists saw this as the basis for Polish heritage as well - what Ignacy Wieniewski refers to as the "Latin element" in Polish history: from Rome "Poland adopted the.. .notion of valor, 'viritus'" and this notion fueled Poles desire for autonomy throughout its history (1981, p.53). Poland's relationship to the West through its ties to the Holy See from the latter part of the ninth century on and the influence of this liaison is reflected in Romantic poems such as Juliusz Slowacki's (1809-1849) "Hymn at Sunset": Master, my heart is sore. Your radiant West Pours out its rainbows for me, while your deep Blue waters quench the star that burns in quest Of everlasting sleep: Yet, though you gild the skyline, seas and shore, Master, my heart is sore (Wieniewski 1981, p.41) The "West" - Roman civilization - was perceived to be the guiding example for how Poland's civilization should develop. Poles' reverence for the realization of individual freedom without interference by the state developed over a long period but was initiated by the traditions of the Greco-Roman world: Humanitarian feeling for the individual was linked in Cicero and other Romans with the idea of the state as the property of all its citizens.. .the state exists for the good of its citizens, which is in accord with democratic ideals and contrary to the totalitarian doctrines on the limitless superiority of the state (Wieniewski 1981, p.55). Such sentiments about democratic ideals were still evident in the twentieth century. After being partitioned by surrounding nations in the latter part of the eighteenth century, Poland was reestablished as an autonomous state following the end of World War I. At this time when all efforts were put into developing Poland's commerce and trade relations, there was also "a rebirth and deepening of religious life, on the 13 immemorial foundations of Catholic life, which was of great importance in its effects on national culture (Halecki 1976, p. 295). Despite the different cultural influences Poles experienced in the three partitioned sections, Poles reverence for Catholicism provided a basis for shared values and beliefs. Because Poland had been partitioned into three sections, it was essential to amalgamate the people from these areas: The unification of the three parts of dismembered Poland into a homogenous national and state organism was solved with surprising rapidity and smoothness.. .the Polish nation, in spite of all the minor differences between the three divisions, had never lost the feeling of unity (Halecki 1976, p.296). However, after World War I, Poland was unable to build itself up sufficiently to resist invasion, first by Germany in 1939 and later by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II (Dziewanowski 1977). The period of Poland's independence, though only twenty years, "allowed the Poles to educate a new generation of young people in the love of freedom" (Dziewanowski 1977, p. 112). What the leaders of the Soviet Union failed to realize was that they "were dealing with a nation whose most learned intellectuals and simplest peasants alike worshipped democracy and legality and the Church (Zamoyski 1987, p.374). The long period of communist rule in Poland was unable to eradicate Poles ideals of freedom and how the state should treat its citizens. Since the ideal of civil society is incompatible with communist rule, the Solidarity movement effectively pitted the ideals of civil society against the state and its institutions: "the idea of a nation, a cultural, linguistic or religious community rooted in sacred tradition, was opposed to the state" (Sztompka 1998, p. 194). However, the legacy of this opposition to the state has resulted 14 in the intense distrust of agencies and institutions that operate within the public domain. Much of Polish society equates such agencies and institutions with state interference and, consequently, such mistrust often results in the excessive support of privatization. Such distrust is marked by the preference for private as opposed to public services, preferences for "foreign over local products", and "an emphasis on external trust towards the West", evident in the strong support for Poland's inclusion in N A T O and the European Union (Sztompka 1998, p. 203, 206). The consequences of Polish society's distrust of the public domain hinders the process by which public institutions can serve as mediators in the interests of society. The result is an unbalanced expansion of private interests, the disintegration of public confidence, and the sense of security in the democratic system Poland has so long waited to realize: "real civil society often remains a hollow shell behind which privatistic and fragmenting institutional processes and interactional practices continue to play themselves out" (Alexander 1998, p. 16). The strong sense of national and cultural identity that permeates Polish society served to maintain interconnections between diverse groups during the periods of Martial Law and Poland's initial transition to a market economy. However, despite the strong desire Poles historically have demonstrated for the development of a functioning civil society, their deep mistrust of public institutions facilitates their acceptance of a neo-liberal ideology while simultaneously preventing Poles from experiencing the benefits of civil society -assigning public institutions the mandate to secure and promote the interests of the people, but as active citizens, requiring that such institutions are accountable. 15 Issues of Cohesion and Consciousness in Relation to the Women's Movement Social Cohesion within the women's movement is determined by the degree to which women feel they are an integral part of a particular group or organization. The cultivation of a communal attitude further demonstrates a sense of belonging that develops within the group and coalition of groups. Despite the variety of differences (ie. age, ethnicity, class) that may exist between individual members, there is recognition of shared values and common goals within a particular organization that may diverge from the values and beliefs of other groups in society. In fact, the members, individually and as part of the group, are likely to perceive themselves as a minority whose goals or aspirations conflict with the goals of whatever social group controls the decision-making processes in the society. The concept of consciousness, for the purposes of this study, focuses on the distinction between consciousness and cohesion. One way to conceptualize cohesion (in terms of the women's movement) is to determine that it centers on a consensus of general values in a given society by group members or by various groups depending upon whether one is appraising cohesion within a group or between groups. In contrast, consciousness I choose to define as an awareness or cognizance of a group and/or individual's position in society. Women's consciousness I would describe as the awareness of the identity - acknowledgement that there is a community of women that is cognizant of the situation of women in society. This awareness would not serve to exclude issues that do not reflect the general values of Polish women, but would instead promote an understanding of those values that may be shared by some groups but not by 16 others. Rather than setting boundaries on the women's movement, this consciousness would help women to think of themselves in terms of a distinct community with specific needs and concerns but also with strong ties to the rest of the society. Social cohesion within women's organizations is identified according to the five dimensions of social cohesion outlined earlier. Belonging is determined by the extent to which members in women's organizations believe they share the same goals and ideals as other members involved in women's organizations, and whether these ideals and objectives are reflective of the objectives of most women in Polish society. A strong sense of belonging in terms of a community of women is demonstrated by the extent to which diverse women's organizations are willing to work together on particularly controversial issues such as abortion. Inclusion is represented by the ability of women's organizations to mobilize resources, which includes attracting a diverse membership. A diverse membership is more likely to provide an organization with a range of different skills and experiences. Women from a variety of income and education levels would provide varied contacts to other community groups, agencies, and business groups and associations which may be willing to contribute other resources such as financial support, space, and other necessary supplies. Funding issues, accessibility to corporate sponsorship, and the ability to attract new members is of primary importance. In addition, the interests of women's organizations are likely to be represented and reflected by initiatives set up by public and private institutions which serve to support women's access to information, education, and labour. 17 Participation is signified by what role women's groups play as agencies and whether or not these groups can influence policy-making in both the public and private domains. In addition, it is necessary to determine what kinds of ties, i f any, bond the women involved in the establishment of these organizations. If strong ties exist between the leaders of the women's organizations, the expectation is that there is a greater possibility of forming coalitions among groups and increasing the power of women's groups to influence institutional policies. The stronger the ties that exist between leaders, the more likely that groups that do not share similar goals and beliefs would still perceive as legitimate the differing goals and beliefs of other groups. Also, a women's movement that shows a high degree of cohesion would also show a high level of interpersonal ties (Erickson 1998). For example, individual members of groups would be members of other organizations, and women's groups that focus on similar issues may form blocs within a city or region as well as maintain a strong connection with an umbrella organization (Erickson 1988, Wellman 1988). Recognition of women's groups in society is demonstrated by whether or not such groups are perceived to make an important contribution to Polish society through their promotion of women's interests. There is an acknowledgement by other social groups that gendered differences must be considered. For example, support would exist for research of medical problems affecting only women, and that such medical issues would be perceived as equally justified as those affecting both sexes. Evidence of support of gendered experiences would be expressed in the policies and practices of public institutions. For example, institutional policies would facilitate the promotion of women 18 through programs such as education initiatives to ensure there is a gendered balance especially in decision-making positions. In addition, policies may reflect the gendered differences relating to reproductive issues. Maternity leave would not be treated as an illness or liability - the spouse receiving benefits would receive full pay as opposed to only a percentage, and would be able to maintain the seniority level. In general, there must be acceptance of the fact that women's life experiences differ from men's and that issues and concerns reflecting these differences are no less valid than those affecting other social groups or society as a whole. Legitimacy is made evident by the existence of both governmental and nongovernmental institutions that serve as agencies to which women's organizations can appeal for support and mediation of their concerns as they come into conflict with the objectives of other groups in society. Women's organizations must be able to turn to larger institutions or bodies to ensure that the issues that their organizations promote are given fair consideration and to ensure that such groups have a means by which they can challenge established policies and legislation that infringe on women's rights. Three Theoretical Perspectives of Social Movements: Gramscian, Resource Mobilization Theory, and New Social Movement Theory In order to study the development of the women's movement in Poland in the last two to three decades, it is necessary to look at not only the institutional developments but also issues of consciousness. Three theoretical perspectives, Gramscian, Resource Mobilization, and New Social Movement Theory will be used to provide a conceptual 19 and theoretical analysis of the data, and enable us to interpret patterns of actions and beliefs. The effects of the political, cultural, and economic factors are not mutually exclusive, but have been intertwined over more than a twenty-year period. However, in this paper I am focusing mainly on three periods in the Polish Women's movement: the resurgence of the women's movement and women's involvement in Solidarity, the break with the Solidarity movement, and the establishment of autonomous women's organizations. In addition, three theoretical perspectives will illustrate how different forces influenced the development of the women's movement during the various stages. The Gramscian perspective focuses on the development of a "consciousness" which is accepted by the majority of people in a society, and which challenges the legitimacy of the ruling group's philosophy. The shared ideology of the majority eventually prevails and is accepted by the ruling group, and consequently, becomes the new dominant ideology. Gramsci outlines the development of such consciousness by social groups in terms of "various moments in the relation of political forces": This moment can.. .be analyzed and differentiated into various levels, corresponding to the various moments of collective political consciousness.. .the first and the most elementary of these is the economic-corporate level: a tradesman feels obliged to stand by another tradesman.. .but the tradesman does not yet feel solidarity with the manufacturer.. .the members of the professional group are conscious of its unity and homogeneity, and of the need to organize it, but in the case of the wider social group this is not yet so. A second moment is that in which consciousness is reached of the solidarity of interests among all members of the social group - but still in the purely economic.. .the problem of the state is posed - but only in terms of winning politico-juridical equality with the ruling groups.. .A third moment is that in which one becomes aware that one's own corporate interests, in their present and future development, transcend the corporate limits of the merely economic group, and can and must be the interests of other subordinate groups. This is the most purely political phase.. .in which previously germinated ideologies become 'party', come into confrontation and conflict, until only one of them, or at least a single combination of them, tends to prevail.. .bringing about not only a 20 unison of economic and political aims, but also intellectual and moral unity.. .thus creating the hegemony of a fundamental social group over a series of subordinate groups (Gramsci 1988, p. 203-4). The ideal of civil society and the strong sense of national and cultural identity shared by members of Polish society was never destroyed by the communist regime. The determination to achieve this ideal contributed to and was subsequently fortified by challenges to communist policies that affected the economic security of Polish citizens and resulted in the emergence of Solidarity: [the movement] strengthened the association of civil society with spontaneity, self-organization, massive activism, mobilization from below, autonomy and independence from the state, with a strong anti-etatist orientation (Sztompka 1998, p. 195). The Gramscian perspective will be used to analyze the formation of a new consciousness - a new counter-hegemony - that is broad enough to challenge the socialist hegemony. The second perspective, Resource Mobilization Theory (RMT), asserts that the success of social movements depends on resources such as time, money, organizational skills, and the ability of organizations within the movement to use them. R M T is particularly important in the second stage of the movement when most of the women's organizations were established and when these organizations were most active (Fuszara 1998). Charles Tilly develops two models which provide a means of analyzing how resources and situations are manipulated by social movement organizations to ensure their goals are realized. The polity model on the following page illustrates how different social groups interact. 21 POPULATION Challenger 1 Polity Government -» r Member 1 Member 4 Member 2 Member 5 Member'. Challenger 2 Challenger 3 Challenger 4 Fig. 1.1 The Polity Model (Tilly 1978, p. 53). Coalition In Tilly's model, the government is described as the organization in society with coercive power, and the polity is comprised of the collective action by different social groups. Any social group in society which tries to exert influence on the government is deemed to be a contender. Members are groups within the polity that have "routine" access to government resources whereas challengers are all other groups that do not have such access to government resources. 22 Tilly's second model outlined on the following page illustrates the process through which social movement organizations achieve collective action and how obstacles may affect these organizations. Organization Interest Mobilization Repression/ Facilitation Opportunity/ Threat Power Collective Action Fig. 1.2 The Mobilization Model (Tilly 1978, p. 56). The second model outlines the four following characteristics of contenders: interests, organizations, mobilization, and collective action. In terms of the Polish women's groups, interests would reflect the concerns, goals and objectives of the group. Organization represents the extent to which the sense of identity of members is shared by a particular group. For example, Polish women as a group share a certain unity but Polish women who identify themselves as feminists share a greater sense of unity and, therefore, greater organization and greater networks. Mobilization is denoted by the 23 resources available to a group. Collective action is represented by the extent to which a women's group can coordinate activities, such as protests, with other groups. Tilly identifies "opportunity" as a component which is made up of three elements: power, repression, and opportunity/threat (1978, p.55). When applied to the women's movement in Poland, power is identified by the ability of groups to influence the government. Evidence for such influence, for example, would be an increase in female political representatives and changes to legislation and policies, which reflect the issues promoted by women's groups. Repression is signified by whether the effects of actions by other groups increases or decreases a group's "cost of collection action'. For example, i f a group with a particular set of values and goals is able to lobby the government and public domain for financial support, then it will likely be more difficult for the other groups with opposing goals to obtain support from the same sources. Lastly, opportunity/threat are determined by the capacity of other groups, including governments, to bring forth new claims, which would either improve a group's ability to achieve its goals, or would diminish a group's chances of attaining its goals (Tilly 1978). Additionally, in respect to the Polish Women's movement, R M T focuses on the influence of the economic structure on the development movement. The social change brought about by the Solidarity movement served to worsen the economic situation for women rather than decrease women's economic hardship. Simultaneously, the changes presented women with new situations in which they could organize themselves. The final perspective which will be used to examine the development of the women's movement is New Social Movement Theory. New forms of collective action in the last few decades have led to the development of new approaches to analyzing social 24 movements. Alberto Melucci asserts that the necessary starting point for such analysis is the identification of what constitutes collective action and social movements, and subsequently, provides the following definitions: I define collective action.. .as the ensemble of various types of conflict-based behaviour in a social system. A collective action implies the existence of a struggle between two actors for the appropriation and orientation of social values and resources, each of the actors being characterized by a specific solidarity.. ..[second condition] Collective action also includes all types of behaviour which transgress the norms that have been institutionalized in social roles, which go beyond the rules of the political system and/or which attack the structure of a society's class relations (Melucci, 1980, p. 202). Melucci states that both conditions are required to constitute a social movement; however, the primary condition is the first one. Collective action can be identified without the second condition, but conflict that does not challenge the boundaries of the societal system cannot be viewed as a social movement action: " i f conflict does not go beyond the limits of the political or organizational system.. .then one is dealing, rather, with political competition or a conflict of interests within a given normative framework" (Melucci 1980, p. 202). The issue of identity is integral to N S M theory. Feminist, ethnic, and gay and lesbian movements are examples of social movements that are not developed as a result of the objectives of one class, or simply conflict over which group controls the means of production in a given society: the personal and social identity of individuals is increasingly perceived as a product of social action, and therefore as that which is at stake in a conflict between the exigencies of the various agencies of social manipulation and the desire of individuals to reappropriate society's resources (Melucci 1980, p. 218). 25 Increasingly, social groups are struggling to achieve rights and benefits that are based on the recognition of difference rather than just equality. For example, feminist groups want to ensure that women have access to the same societal resources and opportunities as men; however, these groups also want society to recognize the fact that women may have different goals and aspirations from other groups, and want institutions to reflect this recognition in their policies and practices. Melucci lists five characteristics that may be evident in the collective action of NSMs, which acknowledges that "the right of individuals to realize their own identity" is the primary objective of the movements (1980, p. 218). The first characteristic, "end of the separation between public and private life", reflects the transition of personal issues, such as sexual orientation, from the private domain to the public domain. In terms of the Polish women's movement, women want to bring the issue of reproductive rights into the public domain - to re-legalize abortion and protect women's rights. The "superposition of deviance and social movements" is the second characteristic, which indicates that certain groups are marginalized in society. The evidence of this marginalization is found in the increased establishment agencies whose mandate is to meet the basic needs of such groups and subsequently to preclude conflict that might otherwise arise if the needs are not met. For example, in the last two decades or so, food banks have been established in many cities and towns in B C to provide assistance to the working poor and people who cannot survive financially on social assistance alone and have no where else to turn. A third characteristic of NSMs is that "they are not focused on the political system". These movements do not seek to control political power, but they do want 26 control over policies, legislation, etc. affecting their own particular interests: "they are.. .oriented toward the control of a field of autonomy or of independence vis-a-vis the system" (Melucci 1980, p.220). "Solidarity as an objective " is another characteristic of NSMs. Group identity is the focal point of the collective action. Membership is based on ascribed characteristics such as gender, race, age etc. Polish women in the movement focus on their identity as women, and want to ensure that gender differences are recognized and appreciated in Polish society. And lastly, "direct participation" is the fifth characteristic. NSMs avoid looking to agencies or governments to represent their interests since such representation could effectively direct the manner in which groups try to achieve their objectives and distort the results of any achievement. The risk of not having any representation is the possible fragmentation of the movement i f a strong solidarity and commitment among members is not achieved (Melucci 1980, p. 221). Melucci's last characteristic must be considered somewhat differently in terms of the Polish women's movement. Polish women are lobbying and looking to international agencies to represent their interests and put pressure on the Polish government, rather than looking to the Polish government for support themselves (Lohman 1999). Overall, the assertions based on the examination of the research information are intended to provide a more recent representation of the status of the Polish women's movement, and a critical analysis of the success, and lack of success, of women's organizations to achieve their objectives and sustain a vibrant women's movement. 27 CHAPTER II COHESION OR FRAGMENTATION IN THE POLISH WOMEN'S MOVEMENT Prior to my trip in 1998,1 conducted research on Poland for two papers. The first was a comparative historical analysis of state development from the feudal to modern period, from which I determined that any study of political development and social change in Poland must consider the cultural significance and the influence of the Catholic Church. The second paper focused on women's issues following the transition to a market economy. While researching secondary sources for the second paper, I found references that determined the women's movement to be cohesive in relation to protests of anti-abortion legislation and the issue of reproductive rights. In addition, an Internet search of women's issues in Poland produced information about women's organizations, how groups could be contacted, and that a directory listing all registered women's organizations could be obtained from the Center of the Advancement of Women (CAW) in Warsaw. While in Poland in 1998,1 met informally with Dr. Malgorzata Fuszara, Director of the Center for Social and Legal Studies on the Situation of Women. Dr. Fuszara explained that issues surrounding women's reproductive rights continued to be the main focus of most women's organizations, and that groups worked collectively to gain support for women's rights. I also purchased a copy of the Directory of Women's Organizations and Initiatives in Poland and spoke briefly with a C A W volunteer worker who described the publication of the directory as one of the most important accomplishments of the Centre. The directory symbolizes the links that have been established between the various organizations listed and the cooperation between these 28 organizations in producing such a publication. The worker also stated that some of the organizations' leaders either had ties to Solidarity activists or had been active in the movement themselves. The information gathered in these two encounters provided me with the basis for my research interests: to determine the extent to which the women's movement is cohesive, and to understand how the women's movement has developed and how it has evolved. The Women's Movement as Allegedly Cohesive As mentioned earlier in the preceding chapter, there has been much written about the women's movement in Poland in the early 90s. Evidence for cohesion in the women's movement, prior to information gathered from interviews with leaders of women's organizations, was based on limited secondary sources and two brief and informal discussions with women involved in organizations. The question that needs to be asked is whether the Polish women's movement has become cohesive ten years after women's organizations were first formed. The data derived from in-depth interviews in the fall of 1999 is the main source of data used to study cohesion in the women's movement and is examined in terms of the five dimensions of social cohesion outlined by Jane Jenson and discussed in the introductory chapter. In addition, comparisons will be made between the characteristics of the Polish women's movement and Western European women's movements to determine how differently the Polish movement has evolved. However, before I begin an analysis of the organizations, I will provide an overview of the organizations listed in the directory and what these organizations do. 29 The directory lists a total of ninety-four organizations. The following table illustrates the various types of women's organizations and the increase in the numbers based on the 1993 and 1997 editions of the directory: Table 2. Development of Women's Movement By Organization Type Organization Type 1993 1997 Associations, Clubs, Federations, Informal Groups, Agencies 24 57 Foundations and Programs 10 17 Charities 3 0 Religious Unions and Associations 3 6 Groups in Unions and Parties 6 6 Research Centers 5 8 Total 51 94 The table shows a significant increase overall, 84% in the number of groups that were listed in the 1997 directory compared to the earlier edition. The information presented in these directories was gathered by the Center for the Advancement of Women (CAW) by means of a questionnaire. According to Daria Sowinska-Milewska, interim Director of the C A W , the response rate of the groups that were sent the questionnaire was very high (she was referring to the survey of groups for the 1997 edition), which enabled the C A W to include a listing of small, single issue oriented groups from rural as well as urban locations in the directory. Daria was unable to provide me with any additional information about how the data were gathered for the 1993 edition. It must be noted that there may have been more women's organizations in existence in 1993 that did not respond to the survey, so the increase in the number of organizations does not necessarily translate into an increase in the number of women's organizations established. 30 The directory includes contact information, a description of the goals, structure, links with national and international organizations as well as information pertaining to membership, activities, and financing. The C A W , which was officially established in 1991, registers all women's organizations and focuses on raising women's consciousness based on social equality. The directory is published in both Polish and English in order to facilitate communication between women's groups as well as to provide international organizations with information about the women's movement. Between 1990 and 1992, twenty-nine women's organizations were registered in Poland; a handful of these had been active before their registration (Jagiello 1997). The 1997 edition of the directory indicates that some organizations have extensive memberships: the Democratic Union of Women (DUK) - more than 3,000 members; League of Polish Women - 20,000 members; Polish Union of Catholic Women - over 800 members; and the Women's Section of Solidarity - 10,000 members. Although, most organizations list their membership from as small as five to three or four hundred, the numbers appear to indicate that a significant number of Polish women are interested in women's organizations, i f not necessarily directly active in these groups. In many of my interviews with women's organizations' leaders, the Directory of Women's Organizations and Initiatives in Poland was often referred to as proof of the collaborations between women's groups. Coalition Organizations In 1996, an umbrella organization called OSKa (The Foundation National Information Center on Women's Organizations and Initiatives in Poland) emerged. Its 31 goal is similar to that of the C A W ; it provides support for various organizations by providing access to information (it publishes an index of organizations similar to the directory published by the CAW), and encourages greater participation of women in the public sphere. OSKa's activities include the organization of seminars and training for women's organizations, the facilitation of communication with international organizations and the occasional publication of "Pismo" [Paper], which focuses on such issues as the political involvement of women, violence against women, and the exploitation of women in the sex trade (Titkow, 1999). During my interview with Barbara Limanowska, Executive Director of OSKa, Barbara spoke of the organization's goals and obstacles for women in the movement: We provide women's organizations with information but we are not an umbrella.. .There are two things, one is the lack of information and this feeling of isolation. That was.. .like the background for the idea to create an information center because we knew that there are a lot of groups.. .they feel they are the only ones.. .to work on such issues. Providing them with information and giving them the feeling that they are part of a bigger community and a lot of people working on women' issues. The women who want to do something and even start a group are not really well-prepared to start activities - social or political. Making it very clear or making some clear plan about what to do how to do it, they are not able to do it. That's also the real idea of our training, that's where we try to give them some information. How to work together with other organizations and how to network (1999). Barbara identifies lack of skills as a major obstacle. OSKa focuses much of the training programs on small women's groups with an emphasis on developing organizational skills, strategic planning, fund raising and how to network (1999). However, unlike many umbrella organizations, it does not attempt to manage the actions of women's organizations but simply to serve as a communication network. I asked Barbara about the comment made by the C A W worker in 1998 that some women from Solidarity were 32 leaders of organizations. However, Barbara states that relatively few women involved in Solidarity later joined women's groups: It was how men and women from Solidarity talked about and treated women's issues. Reactions made women afraid to discuss issues.. .Solidarity had rhetoric of democracy and free elections but few women had power in economy/politics (1999). Encouraging more women, especially young women, to become involved is also a major objective: "younger members involved in OSKa started feminist meetings. Younger women came to the meetings and are now more active. The meetings gave them the possibility to be involved" Limanowska 1999). Another indication of networking between women's organizations has been the formation of coalitions between organizations that share similar goals. The largest of these is the Federation for Women and Family Planning which includes the following list of organizations: Polish Women's League, Polish Feminist Association, Pro Femina Association, Neutrum Association, Y W C A , Democratic Women's Union Section "Ewa", Movement for Protection of Women's Rights, Family Development Society, and the Polish Sexologist Society. The goals of this coalition are to affect changes to anti-abortion legislation, to reintroduce safe and legal abortion, to promote counseling of proper contraceptive use, and to introduce sex education into Polish schools (Nowicka, 1999). Most of the coalition's activity centers on gathering, summarizing and publishing data on women's reproductive health and the consequences of anti-abortion legislation, as well as gender discrimination in Poland: The most clear sign of discrimination is that women's issues are not taken seriously. It is not just women who are not politicized - people are not politicized.. Journalists are now interested - young journalists - but the 33 problem is with editors who have power. It is becoming clear women's issues are a very serious political/social issue. Many women's organizations realize they must cooperate with media (Nowicka 1999). In addition to trying to get national exposure for women's issues, the coalition is politically active in lobbying international organizations by preparing reports for the United Nations Human Rights Committee: Many women's organizations advocate and lobby [women's issues] on the international level. They [lobby the U N Committee of Human Rights] to pressure Polish government for change. The Polish government had to make a report on how it dealt with cultural human rights. Women NGOs made a shadow report. The Committee made recommendations supporting women's rights [based on differences between the reports]. This showed where Poland is lacking (Nowicka 1999). Lack of governmental support for women's issues is another major obstacle for the women's movement. Women's organizations are likely to distrust the motives of future government initiatives, adding to the distrust of institutions in the public domain which is already apparent in Polish society. This is evident by the fact that women's organizations are turning to the media and external institutions rather the government as a means of advocating women's rights. Although not part of the coalition, the US group, Catholics For A Free Choice, sponsored a report entitled "The Effects of the Anti-Abortion Law" which was published in 1996. Catholic groups in Poland generally are strongly against any kind of pro-choice legislation, though according to Wanda Nowicka, Director of the Federation for Women and Family Planning, some of the more moderate lay Catholic groups are beginning to question the strictly traditional views of the Church: "Lay Catholic organizations are working against the hierarchy of the Church" (1999). The coalition has attempted to contact Catholic women's organizations to discuss issues and determine i f there is some 34 common ground for mutual support. However, most Catholic groups are not listed in the directories and are difficult to find despite the fact that in the media, Catholic groups boast huge memberships. However the huge membership might be accounted for by the fact that most of the claimed membership of Catholic women's groups are part of associations focusing on family rather than women's issues (Nowicka 1999). Besides forming coalitions, many women's organizations participate in conferences, both at the national and international level, that focus on women's issues. One of the largest of these is the Network of East-West Women, which holds conferences in Poland as well as other countries. Various women's organizations present papers at these conferences, which focus on information and activism about the concerns of women in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, an annual conference for all women's organizations is held usually in June and is intended to provide an opportunity for members of women's groups from around Poland to meet and to discuss issues and strategies for achieving goals and raising awareness of women's issues (Limanowska, 1999). The coalition organizations are very concerned to ensure that women groups feel they belong to a community of women that has the capability effecting positive changes for women in Polish society, and to maintain ties between these organizations encouraging greater participation of the groups in the movement. In terms of recognition/rejection, the treatment women's issues has received from the Polish government and members of the Solidarity (which is now a political party) shows that women's issues are largely rejected by the institutions that serve as mediators in the 35 public domain. However, to some extent, the coalition organizations themselves serve as agencies where individual groups can serve as mediators for groups. Women's Organizations Most women's organizations in Poland are usually identified by that fact that they have permanent office space and paid staff members in addition to volunteer members. However, despite the fact that these organizations work on a number of issues, they usually have few, i f any, active members working at the organization on a consistent basis. A l l of the major organizations I visited consisted basically of an office with one to two staff members other than the head of the organization. Occasionally, there would be a student involved either in a Gender Studies or Women's Studies Program who was doing volunteer work for a short period. Despite my request to meet with members when the appointment for an interview was set up, the interview was almost always held with only the head of the organization. Despite the fact that there might be some differences in the focal point of some of the women's organizations, most organizations listed in the directory, and all but one of the interviewees, stated that consciousness-raising among Polish women of gender issues was a priority. When asked about consciousness-raising for women's issues, the Vice President of the Polish Union of Catholic Women, Marta Wojczik stated that the issue of consciousness-raising of women's issues, though important, particularly in reference to women's education and employment, must not exclude the consideration of the family as an entire unit: Not big obstacles. Most environments open to raising consciousness. We do support education but there must be balance between work and family. 36 The change from communist to capitalism created problem with women and unemployment.. .hard for women with families.. .We could work with other organizations on unemployment issues.. .help with training for new employment but more important to give wages for maternity.. .but important to society women's work at home is just as important as work outside so women raising children must be paid (1999). The efforts to develop communication networks between large and small groups as well as national and international organizations, and the collaboration of organizations on issues such as gender discrimination and reproductive rights suggests a certain degree of organization by Polish women's groups. However, a closer look at these organizations reveals that despite efforts to establish a strong, cooperative network of organizations, there are surprising antagonisms relating to the ideology and the immediate goals of these organizations. In the case of the women's foundation, eFKa, which is the largest women's organization in Cracow, Slawomira Walczewska explained that initially the organization began as an informal group of women who were students in the late 1970s and 1980s (some of whom had connections to women who were later active in Solidarity). In the late 1980s, following the end of the Martial Law period, women began to attend informal conferences such as "Wolnosc e Pokoy" [Freedom and Peace], which was held in 1987 in Cracow. Such conferences focused on the issue of human rights: At the beginning, there were conferences - since '87 - these were human rights but women's discussions evolved and activists met and worked from here building a new civil society more in opposition. The conferences existed when no women's groups developed yet (Walczewska 1999). The objective of the meetings was to eventually create a women's culture. Initial meetings of members of eFKa often included other informal women's groups that were 37 developing in the same period mainly in response to the anti-abortion legislation, which was being proposed in the early 1990s: When anti-abortion laws started, the only protest groups were feminist groups. They were supported by young Marxists. Feminist groups were the first and most consequential critics of the Church's influence on the state and parliament and democracy.. .Priests came to demonstrations to tell women to leave. Women's organizations' first combined over anti-abortion law - feminists and non-feminists - sometimes still work together but sometimes differ (Walczewska 1999). By 1992, women's groups were being encouraged to register in order to become eligible for funding. The goal of the women already involved in women's organizations was to transform these groups from informal and private gatherings to official public organizations. Their purpose was to develop major local women's centers in urban areas that would eventually promote the development of smaller grassroots groups that would deal with specific issues such as violence against women on a local level. The funding process has had considerable influence on the structure of major women's organizations. Slawomira explained that to enable organizations such as eFKa to become public institutions, the funding provided by international organizations was designated for office space, supplies, and minimal staffing. Originally, eFKa had what Slawomira referred to as a 'non-hierarchal" structure, but in order to submit proposals for funding it was necessary to establish one person as the head of the organization: We need to learn to accept women in role of leader in women's organizations. Also a consideration when working and forming and forming coalitions with other Polish women's organizations - sharing decision-making (Walczewska 1999). Following the change in the organization's structure, membership dwindled to only a handful of women who currently participate in the activities on a regular basis (Walczewska 1999). 38 A similar situation has occurred with the development of the PSF Women's Center - Feminist Foundation. Jolanta Plakwicz, one of the three members of the Foundation Board, explains that PSF members organized outside of the Solidarity movement, although they were involved in helping Malgorzata Tarasiewicz set up the original Women's Section of Solidarity: PSF was forming earlier - women had sympathy for the [women's] movement. The whole group formed outside of Solidarity. Women were aware of elements in the movement were conservative element.1 That is why they formed separately (Plakwicz 1999). The PSF organization developed from the start (officially established in 1989 but members were already organizing demonstrations by 1988) as a feminist group in reaction to conservative elements in the Solidarity movement that were already being identified as unsupportive of women's issues (1999). According to Jolanta, PSF members in 1988 became aware of a proposal by more traditional members of the Catholic Church to desist in opposing the communist regulation of Poland i f the communist government would repeal the legislation legalizing abortion. Immediately, PSF members began to mobilize women in protest of anti-abortion legislation that would be an infringement on reproductive rights (1999). Most of the original PSF members had originally been students of Professor Renata Siemienska, who taught the first feminist theory courses in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warsaw in the mid 1980s. Initially, these women wanted a course that focused on the practical side of activism as opposed to the theoretical. In fact, Professor Siemienska stated that she was aware of her student's disappointment with the focus on theoretical aspects of feminism in her courses, but her intent had been to 1 During the interview with Jolanta, I determined that her reference to "conservative element" signified that there members of the Solidarity movement who held traditional views of women's role in Polish society. 39 raise women's consciousness about feminist issues. In fact, the first informal meetings of the PSF group evolved from her seminars (Siemienska, 1999). However, by the early 1990s, the structure of the PSF group had changed. As with eFKa, funding was provided for office space and staff and very quickly many of the members left the group. Although a handful of volunteer members remain, Jolanta understands that the economic difficulties facing women, such as high unemployment and poor wages, adversely affect women's availability for volunteer work. Some members went on to form other major organizations such as the C A W or became involved in various smaller groups, while others withdrew from involvement in women's groups completely. The first priority of most organizations is to secure funding and then to focus on how the funding can be utilized most efficiently. Initiatives or activities aimed at promoting women's awareness of a women's culture are very costly, especially when any kind of advertising is involved, and consequently such proposals are usually shelved in the hope that sufficient funding can be obtained in the future (Lohman 1999). Ultimately, Jolanta argues that larger organizations should be able to facilitate the development of smaller localized groups; however, the reality is that the major women's organizations are losing the ability to raise women's consciousness among the women who need the most support: " i f you don't work with women at the grassroots level, you can't represent them at [any] other level" (1999). The pattern that has evolved is that women's organizations make the move to become professional organizations soon after they develop in order to obtain funding, but lose the ability to maintain grassroots mobilization. Without the active support of members, these organizations do very little 40 in the way of collective action - routinization and a degree of bureaucratization seem to have taken the place of activism. To gain more information about the funding of women's organizations and initiatives, I contacted two foundations that were responsible for providing financial support to individual women and women's organizations. Anna Kosido, acting Deputy Director of the Foundation for the Development of Polish Agricultural - Women in Rural Enterprise Development Program (WRED), provided information on how her program was funded and how this funding was utilized. Unlike other programs, this initiative focuses on supporting individual women by providing low interest loans to help women start small businesses. WRED is funded mainly by the US based Rockefeller Foundation, though it also receives funding from Women's World Banking and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) (1999). This initiative is not involved in any sort of consciousness-raising among women. In fact, the program is designed to support women in eastern Poland where unemployment among men is particularly high due to the closure of textile plants and other factories: "The program targets women in rural [communities] and encourages the development of small business" (Kosido, 1999). The expectation is that unemployed men will be able to find some agriculture related work and women could supplement the family income with the proceeds from a small business. When asked why such loans were not provided for men, Anna stated that alcoholism rates among men were very high in such regions and consequently men were considered too high a risk for such investment income (1999). The second foundation I visited was the Stefan Batory Foundation - Women's Program. The Women's Program assists women through providing grants to • 41 nongovernmental organizations such as associations, foundations, and informal groups whose aim is to improve the situation of women (Jagiello 1997, p. 319. Dagmara Baraniewska (Program Coordinator) was quite critical of WRED : W R E D is not a progressive Polish foundation. The focus is on small business. Women are still kept in small positions with WRED. Men get money in big banks and big positions. This [situation] is keeping same tradition (1999) In her opinion, this type of financial support served to maintain women in less visible, service type industries and to promote traditional views of women's income as secondary to men's. Dagmara was also critical of the manner in which international funding was structuring Polish women's organizations such as eFKa and the PSF Foundation. She argued that there was a lack of understanding on the part of international organizations as to the needs of women's organizations beyond office space and staffing. The lack of employment opportunities for women is such that finding employment has become the priority for women over and above involvement in organizations. By regulating how the funding is utilized, international organizations have indirectly lessened the degree to which women's organizations will work cooperatively, and they have weakened the women's movement. Since there is a limited amount of funding for staffing, women who do not obtain a paid position in an organization are motivated to establish another organization, which focuses on similar issues to the one they were initially involved in, but which is also in direct competition for the same funding. Dagmara indicates that such rivalry accounts for the similarities, as well as lack of creativity evident in the proposals that are put forth to the foundation requests for financial support: "Many organizations are lacking energy, incentive, and have become comfortable. The Stefan Batory Foundation wants innovative proposals but gets same old thing" (Baraniewska 1999). 42 In an interview with Biruta Pachnik, (President) and Elzbieta Ronka, (Secretary General of the Polish Young Women's Christian Association), both women acknowledged the difficulties in securing sufficient funding. "The main problem to being cooperative is competition -for financial support. Each group tries to have different programs because all groups are applying to same sponsors trying to convince them that their program is best" (Ronka 1999). The European Y W C A provides most of the Young Christian Women's funding, but proposals are also sent to the Stefan Batory Foundation. When asked how sponsors were found: We go through leaders of other Y W C A s asking for sponsors but we need to be careful in presenting proposals and remember that only one Polish group will be getting money for the same purpose so we are checking with other groups about whether they are applying for the same money (Ronka 1999). In fact, Elzbieta admitted that she often asked what sort of issues other groups were basing their proposals on - the purpose was to ensure that her own proposals would not be too much higher in the amount of funding requested or that the proposed activity or program would not be significantly different from those suggested by other groups (1999). The inexperience in securing funding for women's organizations is further aggravated by years of dealing with the extensive bureaucracy of the communist government. Kinga Lohman, who works in the office of the Polish Committee of NGOs explained that, during the communist regulation of the state, people learned very quickly that i f a request for funding or support of any kind was considered too large or unreasonable, the organization would receive nothing - in other words, it was better to ask for significantly less than was required rather than for more. In contrast, international funding bodies work on the opposite principle; although funding is limited, it is expected 43 that organizations will request more funds than necessary, and even i f they receive a lesser amount than requested, the amount received is likely to be sufficient to cover the minimum of expenses: There is a difference between Poland and the West. The big problem is money. Women lack experience in approaching foundations for money. There is also a problem with not speaking English. The obstacle is in the mentality. They don't have habit of asking for money. They feel like they are begging. They lack experience in writing projects. They don't have perspective of larger vision or they have difficulty to explain their thinking. Best to ask for something small. This thinking is left over from communist thinking. Often energy was wasted to just try for funding. Business does not support women's organizations (Lohman 1999). Consequently, women's organizations in Poland are constantly under-funded as a result of their own requests. The focus on securing funding has also resulted in less protest activity by women's organizations. To begin with, there are significantly fewer members who can work to mobilize any protest activity. Now that the head and staff are paid, other members have moved to other organizations as staff or have left feeling that the selection of members who would be paid was unfair (Baraniewska 1999). Secondly, organizations are becoming increasingly concerned that such protest activity makes them appear radical or too confrontational, and may subsequently hinder their efforts to secure funding from international organizations (Plakwicz, 1999). None of the organizations that I had visited had been involved in any recent protest activity that involved any sort of demonstrating. The organizations were mainly involved in the following activities: preparing reports for sponsors; gathering information from newspapers and other publications; gathering information or trying to get access to information from government reports; writing 44 letters to newspapers, political organizations, and government agencies, and preparing reports/papers for presentations at conferences. In the Directory of Women's Organizations and Initiatives in Poland, many organizations list consciousness-raising as an important objective in addition to providing training programs and support aimed at enabling women to enhance their employment skills as well as providing help and counseling for women in a variety of difficult situations among other services. These organizations indicate that space is allotted for informal gatherings and discussions of women's issues, for smaller groups to meet and develop strategies for the organization of groups, and in the case of organizations like eFKa and the C A W , for women to have access to feminist publications and a reading room. While in Cracow, I visited eFKa three times and only encountered one woman who stopped by briefly to look at the publications. When I asked i f she was a volunteer member, I was informed that she had been encouraged by her instructor in the Gender Studies Program to visit the foundation. The same situation seemed to exist with the C A W . According to Daria, there were relatively few groups that took advantage of the support offered by the C A W to form organizations. Developing women's awareness of women's organizations is further hindered because women's organizations often move frequently when cheaper office space is found. In 1998,1 was unable to locate eFKa in Cracow because the office had just been moved and the new address was not posted on the Internet. Women's organizations also do not want to spend their limited funding on advertising in papers or posting signs outside their offices. In some cases, women's organizations that promote a feminist ideology are often more inclined to maintain a low profile in a neighbourhood 45 (Walczewska, 1999). The result is that Polish women often do not realize such organizations even exist. The Women's Rights Center is involved with publishing and disseminating information regarding women's rights and providing legal advice for women who experience gender discrimination. According to Urzula Nowakowska, the center plans to open branches in other cities throughout Poland and to become as visible as possible to women who are not involved in the movement. The overall goal is to establish a network of centers that can provide training for women to work as advocates in smaller towns and to raise awareness of women's rights in general. Urzula states that the lack of education regarding women's rights is a major obstacle for the women's movement. The lack of education applies to both men and women; i f men were better informed of women's rights and citizens' rights in general, there would be a better understanding of gender equity: We need more fair play and cooperation on concrete issues. Large sponsors in Poland tried to push cooperation on the umbrella organizations. We need to increase education level for men as well as women. We need to have more publication of rights. The manuals are very popular. We need network training of women's rights advocates, especially from smaller cities and towns (Nowakowska 1999). The centers' main function is to serve as an advocacy agency for women. Urzula did not specifically mention working with other organizations on projects but the center is probably contacted by other organizations for legal advice since the center does have lawyers who donate their time and expertise (Nowakowska 1999). In regard to political activity, many of the larger organizations have all but given up lobbying the Polish government in relation to such issues as legislation affecting reproductive rights and gender discrimination in the labour market. According to Wanda 46 Nowicka, organizations have repeatedly lobbied the Polish government to examine the issue of gender discrimination and how it is dealt with by the legal system. There are equality rights provisions in the Polish Constitution; however, "it is almost impossible to prove discrimination on the basis of sex" (1999). There are no formal agencies in place to consider such a problem. Also, when women's organizations lobbied government to establish an equal status act, which would make it possible to prosecute an institution for gender discrimination, the government's response was that such legislation was unnecessary because equality rights do exist in the Constitution (Nowicka, 1999). The Center is currently "lobbying [the Polish government] to change legislation on violence.. .[and] gender equality legislation" (Nowicka 1999). However, from our discussion, I determined that Urszula did not expect to achieve a great deal of success in trying to influence the government to make changes. None of the women I spoke with mentioned lobbying the Polish government to establish any formal agencies to act as mediators. Women's organizations such as the Women's Rights Center have taken on this role themselves: the women at the Center attend court cases "to observe how they are being handled" (Nowicka 1999). Monitoring the courts and police in cases involving sexual harassment or violence against women is an important activity and the Center hopes to train more women "to have more advocates, ombudsman-like in [rural] areas especially in the north and east" (Nowicka 1999). It is my impression that the women in these organizations would not trust agencies mandated by the government to properly advocate women's rights. Consequently, most larger organizations believe they will get more support for women's issues by lobbying international political bodies such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 47 and subsequently more pressure will be put on the Polish government to introduce legislation that will enhance the ability of women to secure equality rights (Lohman, 1999). However, Izabela Nowacka, President of the Polish Women's League, is critical of this focus on political activism aimed at international political bodies: Need to develop basic social rights.. .because of N A T O Poland had to have some standards .. .military now has to accept women.. .The League wants to develop consciousness in rural areas, not to be elitist like NGOs (1999). She states that women's organizations should be politically active on the domestic level and " need to work on two levels: 1) promote social goals [at] the grassroots level -work with people, and 2) identify new social problems and inform the government" (1999). She stresses that some of the individuals involved in the larger organizations are more interested in promoting their own political careers rather than achieving the objectives of their organizations. Both Dagmara Baraniewska and Jolanta Plakwicz expressed similar sentiments in regards to individuals who they felt were promoting elitist attitudes by focusing on obtaining support only from international political bodies (1999). Such attitudes ultimately hinder the ability of the women's movement to represent the interests of Polish women. Two organizations I visited that did not receive funding for staff and an office developed around single issues: abuse and medical. The interviews with these two groups that I contacted, Promyk and Amazonki, contrasted sharply with interviews set up with other organizations. To begin with, these groups had most of their members present and everyone participated in the discussion, though in each case, the head of the organization 48 did most of the talking. The first group, Promyk, which deals with spousal abuse, has been especially active in providing shelter and counseling for abused women. According to Genowefa Klimasara, President of Promyk, much of the group's activities have focused on canvassing businesses and individuals for financial support and donations of supplies. At the time of the interview, the group did not have any permanent office space and simply met informally at member's homes. The group did not have funding for office space and in fact had received funding only once from the Stefan Batory Foundation. Genowefa indicated that the main purpose of obtaining funding was to be able to secure the services of a lawyer to provide legal advice for women in abusive situations (1999). As it turned out, Promyk was one of the few organizations that was established as an organization through the training and non-financial support offered by both the C A W and eFKa, although the group has not been involved with any other organizations beyond its establishment. The group promotes an ideology which fosters the recognition of women's rights as being tied in with universal human rights, though a few of the members individually indicated they were more supportive of a feminist ideology which was based on the perspective that discrimination against women was institutionalized in Polish society (1999). The activities that group members were generally involved in (besides securing funding) included writing letters to newspapers and government agencies about abuse issues and women's rights. In addition, members collected information about court cases involving violence against women and many of their letters to newspapers were complaints about the way the victims were treated by the courts or 49 the leniency of sentencing. As with other organizations, funding issues are a priority, and may determine whether the group is able to remain active or not (Klimasara, 1999). The other group "Amazonki" (women after mastectomy) had little contact with other Polish Women's organizations but is part of an international network of the same name. According to Krystyna Mika, Coordinator of Amazonki, the group has considerable contact with other "Amazonki" groups and members often travel to surrounding countries to take part in demonstrations and conferences. Some members have traveled to the US to take part in a demonstration for awareness of breast cancer rates. They are also concerned with helping other Amazonki groups get funding and resources in poorer Eastern European countries (1999). Unlike other organizations, funding is less of a problem for this group. Other European Amazonki groups as well as US groups are very supportive of the organization. In addition, Amazonki does receive limited government funding from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and the Government Plenipotentiary for Family Affairs (Jagiello, 1997). There are notable differences between some of the organizations. Although funding is a problem for all the women's organizations, some organizations are able to maintain their focus on the main issue involving that particular group whereas other organizations seem to be sidetracked by the need to compete with other organizations for funding. This competition has hindered cooperation between organizations despite the fact that these groups are focused around similar issues and support a comparable ideology of promoting women's rights. In addition to the divergence in focus and strategies among some of the women's organizations, there is a major split evident 50 between groups supporting traditional/conservative roles of women in society and those promoting a feminist/liberal ideology. How Cohesive is the Women's Movement? An examination of women's organization reveals that there is some evidence of cohesion among some of the organizations but this does not translate into a cohesive women's movement. There seems to be a genuine effort on the part of the coalition organizations to promote a sense of belonging in the women's groups, and to work with the different groups to establish a sense of community and a women's culture. Many of the organizations do share similar goals such as promoting women's rights and improving women's access to the labour market. But, though the Catholic women's organizations may support some women's rights issues, this does not mean that they can establish a common cause with groups asserting reproductive rights. Since the anti-abortion legislation has already been passed, activity involving the promotion of women's reproductive rights is limited to lobbying, collecting data and preparing reports for international human rights agencies. The cohesion that was evident in the women's movement in response to the changes to abortion legislation being proposed in the early 90s has diminished drastically. The lack of current protest activity around a central issue in which woman's rights may be in jeopardy may account for the lessening of cohesion. When asked i f she thought there was cohesion in the women's movement, Dr. Titkow of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology stated that the movement was not cohesive: Today it is not cohesive as it seems but this is good. Differences are good. Now is the time to discuss public consciousness in women's rights as human rights but Polish women's organizations are not ready yet" (1999). 51 Dr. Titkow states that coalitions are important to the movement - some groups that have different perspectives, different approaches are still able to work together on the same basic issue - women's status in society. Ideally, a "hybrid organization" would reflect a movement of differences and not just a feminist movement (1999). Social Cohesion: Similarities and Differences Between Polish and Western European Women's Movements Prior to beginning my research on Polish women's organizations, I was largely unaware of the fact that the women's movement in Poland had undergone a first wave as did women's movements in Western Europe: "At the end of the nineteenth century movements [in Western Europe] emerged.. .claiming women's right to vote, to work for fair wages, and to have some individual autonomy from father or husbands (Jenson 1995, p. 405). In Poland, the early women's movement is connected to Poland's fight for independence: The first organized group whose aim was the improvement of women's status and education was formed.. .in the years between 1840 and 1850. The "enthusiasts".. .were also engaged in an underground struggle for the independence of Poland from Russia.. .the first women's congresses were held in. . . 1894... 1899... 1900 and 1905 to discuss the role and tasks of women.. .In 1904, the Women's Union was established in Krakow, followed in 1907 by the Polish Society for Equal Rights for Women which struggled.. .for women's right to vote. As opposed to such countries as France or England, the Polish struggle for women's electoral rights never assumed bloody or violent forms. Because they shared common political aims and attitudes toward the partitioning powers.. .it was not likely that women who fought for their rights and who were bound to end up in prison or be killed in the struggle would be opposed by men (Fuszara 1997, p. 130). The objectives of Polish women were the same as those of Western European women in the first wave: however, their experiences of the struggle for women's issues were quite 52 different. The opponents of women's rights were the foreign ruling powers, though this is not to say that Polish men were completely supportive of women's rights. Following the end of World War I, Polish women still had to lobby the newly formed Polish government to gain electoral rights (Fuszara 1997, p. 131). The second wave of the Western European women's movements came "out of the New Left, the old Left, and the student movements" (Jenson 1995, p. 405). Similarly, feminist groups in Poland began to form on university campuses in the late 70s (Siemienska 1999). According to Jane Jenson, Western European women's movements were very active in the early period "post-1968.. .but by the late 70s, was much less active and.. .visible.. .the focus of work had shifted to the quieter tasks of lobbying for and providing support for programs to support women (1995, p. 411). The women's movement in Poland seems to have followed the same pattern - lots of collective action and mobilization in the early period in response to anti-abortion legislation followed by a shift to less visible activities aimed at obtaining support for a variety of women's programs. There are some important differences between Polish and Western European women's movements when considering the issue of social cohesion. As mentioned earlier, organizations such as the C A W and OSKa are working very hard to establish strong links and maintain communication between Polish women's organizations. Women's organizations in Western Europe have been able to develop a women's culture: "There are cultural groups such as women's cabarets and theatres, women's art galleries, women's publishing and printing companies, women's bookstores, women's newspapers and magazines" (Jenson 1995, p. 405). Such avenues have been much more difficult to 53 establish in Poland since the resources are not available. Polish women's organizations have attempted to develop an interest in women's issues but do not have the resources to attract wide spread interest by women. Polish women's organizations do feel a sense of belonging on an international scale - they are recognized and supported by women's organizations and foundations outside of the country. In terms of inclusion/exclusion, the women's movement does not exhibit, cohesion on a national scale. Women's organizations are experiencing major problems obtaining funding, and most of the funding they do receive is from international sources. Therefore, these organizations do not have access to the market when resources are considered in terms of funding and increasing membership. These organizations are not recognized politically and consequently their issues are not considered pertinent. These organizations do not have access to the funding and information that other groups may have. However, Polish women's organizations are acknowledged on an international scale by other major women's groups like the East-West Network of Women. The organizations do show that leaders maintain fairly regular contact with other leaders about women's issues. In addition, the conferences provide regular opportunities for discussion and decision-making about the issues on which they should focus. However, there is no indication that the members of these organizations are included in the conference. I suspect that the lack of funding prohibits extending that opportunity to members. The participation or involvement of Polish women's organizations is evident on an international scale - they participate in conferences and present most of the data they collect to international bodies like the United Nations (Limanowska 1999). Western European women's movements also lobby and have the support of the same international 54 bodies but these movements also have greater political participation and representation in the respective political systems (Jenson 1995). In comparison, woman's political representation has decreased in Poland during the transition period (Einhorn 1993). The contribution of women's organizations to the movement is demonstrated by the continued interest in gender studies programs, the dedication of the coalition organizations, and the access groups have to the lobbying of international political bodies. But in respect to Polish society, the efforts of the women's organizations are generally ignored or rejected by the Polish government. In reality, the educational institutions are the only institutions to accept gender differences and foster acceptance of these differences. In comparison, Western European movements "have operated in a universe of political discourse and political opportunity that has also long been occupied by left-wing parties, unions, and other progressive actors" (Jenson 1995, p. 412). Legitimacy for the women's groups seems to be provided on a small scale by the coalition organizations and external organizations like the U N . Like Western European movements, Polish women's organizations have also looked to the E U (European Union) to put pressure on the government to recognize women's issues: "The E U has been a resource for women's movements in member states as they prod their national governments to act.. .The E U also funds working groups and networks bringing together experts, including movement activists, to work on issues touching on gender equality" (Jenson 1995, p. 430). Although Poland is not yet a member state, various organizations such as the Polish Committee of NGOs have presented papers to E U committees on the problems relating to gender equality issues in Poland (Lohman 1999). However, at the national level, there really are no advocate agencies in place as we know in Canada. For women's organization to be considered cohesive, legitimacy would have to be evident in the public and private domains of Polish society. Based on the preceding analysis, the women's movement in Poland shows only a very limited degree of cohesion. 56 CHAPTER III THE BIFURCATION BETWEEN RIGHT AND LEFT IDEOLOGIES2 From one perspective, women's organizations appear to be split along political lines of left and right. Left women's organizations, as I have come to interpret these terms, often reflect liberal/socialist feminist perspectives which set the objective of ensuring equal opportunity for women in society "by regulating legislation and employment practices" (Elliot 1995, p.7). But at the same time, organizations are aware of the issue of paid and unpaid labour for women which is not addressed in liberal feminist theory. In contrast, right women's organizations in Poland are strongly influenced by the traditional ideology of the Catholic Church: In Catholic ideology, women are viewed mainly in terms of their sexual function.. .The Church in Poland is strongly promoting women's role as wife and mother as the only morally correct one.. .Women are viewed by conservative parties and the Church as guardians of traditional morality entrusted with the "sacred duty of bearing children" "for the nation" and rearing them in the spirit of national and Catholic identity (Nowakowska 1995, p. 29). The main division between the two ideologies is what the role of women in society is perceived to be. The women's movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries focused on what can be described as a liberal tradition of feminism: goals included "ending women's legal, economic and social dependence upon men; obtaining freedom and opportunity to engage in education and training" (Elliot 1995, p.6). In Poland, the communist state was to have taken care of issues of gender inequality. Yet, most women 21 have used the terms "left" and "right" to signify that there is a split between ideologies in women's organizations. These are very broad terms and encompass a variety of meanings. For example, the term "left" can signify socialist feminist or liberal feminist ideology. In contrast, the term "right" can indicate Catholic or conservative ideology. 57 still had to deal with the double burden of paid and unpaid labour. Contemporary women's organizations which espouse a left-feminist ideology seek to address the issue of the "double day of paid and unpaid labour" for women in Polish society. Organizations which promote a more traditional focus on the role of women as guardians of the family also support the idea of economic independence for women but the ultimate objective is to enable women to have sufficient income so that they may remain at home and raise the family without the burden of going to work as well (Wojczik 1999). The role of women in Polish society is the basis for division between women's groups. This split between left and right organizations became obvious following the Beijing Women's conference in 1995. However, the ideological lines were actually drawn in the later stages of the Solidarity movement. By the late 1980s, Solidarity had evolved into a movement that promoted political reform and, in 1989, was re-legalized by the Polish government (Long 1996). Although women were still largely excluded from visible participation in Solidarity, a small feminist group headed by Malgorzata Tarasiewicz was able to form a Women's Section of Solidarity devoted to supporting women's right to abortion and the civil rights of women overall. The male leadership of Solidarity never supported this section, but tolerated it until 1990 when the section actively protested against proposed anti-abortion legislation. The original section was disbanded and soon after Irena Krzyzanowska became the head of the new Women's Section (Jolanta 1999). Since 1989, Irena states that the primary objective for the Women's Section has been to promote better working standards and practices for Polish women (1999). The effects of the privatization of companies and industry have increased gender 58 discrimination in the workplace; as companies streamline their organizational structures, women are the first employees to be laid off (Ciechocinska 1993, p.321). Such discrimination is particularly difficult for women who are forty years of age and above. According to Irena, i f five older women are trained for a position and a less experienced man applies for the same employment, the man will likely attain the position. Older women are also in competition with younger attractive women who are also more likely to be hired first (1999). However, women's issues should not supersede the consideration of the entire family unit: "Solidarity deals with a whole family structure.. .the big problem is the private sector [which adversely] affects men but also affects women more" (Krzyzanowska 1999). The ideology of the Women's Section reflects a liberal feminist perspective, which focuses primarily on promoting economic equality for women, but also echoes a traditional perspective of women's position as inseparable from the family unit. However, other Catholic women's organizations advocate a much more traditional perspective. According to Martha Wojczik, in order for a society to function well, men and women must follow their ascribed roles. The transition to capitalism interferes with the proper function of society because young women feel the pressure to be economically independent and are not interested in marrying and having a family early in their lives or at all (communism also interfered: both sexes were expected to work) (1999). Until 1995, the Women's Section was not officially involved with other women's organizations (with the exception of some Catholic groups) and did not support or join the protest against anti-abortion legislation. However, the Women's Section has 59 supported the issue of universal human rights and has been affiliated with various government ministries and Catholic Women's organizations to promote awareness of the erosion of family values by the increased focus on money and material goods (Krzyzanowska 1999). In 1995, women's organizations from around the world were invited to participate in the Beijing Women's Conference. From Irena's perspective, the Women's Section was deliberately excluded (the group was not informed of the specifics of the conference by major organizations such as OSKa) because it has worked with Catholic Women's organizations and it supports a more conservative view of women's roles in Polish society: "women's needs and their conscientiousness towards their work must be balanced with women's needs and their conscientiousness towards their family and society" (1999). According to Irena, there is no cohesion in the women's movement because of this split between left and right ideologies. In rebuttal, Barbara Limanowska states that no organizations were excluded in any way - the onus was on individual groups to seek out the information that was available regarding the conference. Nevertheless, Barbara acknowledges that there is a split between left and right, but argues that this split is based on feminist (left) versus religious (right) ideology, particularly relating to the issue of abortion (1999). The result of the participation of Polish women's organizations in the Beijing Conference was the publication of the "Regional Report on Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe". The report indicates certain areas in society in which Polish ministries perpetuate gender discrimination: "the Plenipotentiary for Family concentrates on family and children's problems only; the social role of women is reduced to fulfilling maternal and family duties" (1999, p.7). 60 The reports also indicates that legislation relating to issues such as health and employment require changes to current legislation in Poland in order to guarantee gender equality (1999, p. 11-12). The significance of this report is that international pressure has been put on the Polish government to improve its performance in guaranteeing the civil rights of all its citizens. In comparison to the perspective on the split between left and right as presented by Irena of the Women's Section of Solidarity, Martha Wojczik, President of the Polish Union of Catholic Women acknowledges that the left/right split may reflect an organization's political perspective (although she states that her organization has no official political affiliation). However, from her perspective the left/right split is based on a divergence of spiritual ideology - feminism versus Catholicism. Feminist values are completely irreconcilable with Catholic values, though she states that there is a possibility that she could work with Catholic feminists since they are not atheists as she believes most other feminists are (1999). ' Martha disagrees that the women's organizations in Poland, which are mainly feminist, represent Polish women. Since approximately 90% of Polish women acknowledge they are Catholic, the majority of Polish women can only be represented by Catholic women's organizations. With this perspective in mind, Catholic women's organizations have been mobilizing people to protest in support of pro-life ideology, particularly since the latter part of the 1990s (1999). One important note is that there has been much more recent protest activity (against abortion) involving Catholic women's organizations than there has been from groups supporting reproductive rights, and this is at the time when international bodies are pressuring the Polish government to amend 61 legislation and restore women's right to abortion on the basis of social reasons ("Regional Report on Institutional Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women in the Countries of Central and Eastern Europe" 1999, p. 11). Effects of the Left/Right Split on Alliances in the Women's Movement There seems to be two main blocs of women's organizations that have developed in the last decade: one bloc of organizations has diverged from the fight for women's rights and is now focused on the language of human rights. This bloc appears to promote a more moderate stance; their support of reproductive rights is focused around the issue of family planning: for example, more children cause the entire family economic stress, i f women do not enjoy equal rights then this affects the entire society negatively. Women are still the focus, but I believe the attitudes of many of the groups involved in this bloc reflect the idea of heterosexuality as the norm. The Federation for Women and Family Planning is an example of such a bloc. In addition, there is pressure from other areas for women's organizations to focus on universal rights. The current government has changed the name for the Ministry for Women and Family to simply The Ministry for Family. The Church takes the perspective that the focus on women's rights will infringe on the rights of the husband and children and damage the family as a whole unit (Wojczik 1999). Although this moderate bloc does not support the same line of thinking as the Church, women's organizations that employ a moderate perspective may receive more funding and overall support because they do not appear to be simply a special interest group. The second bloc seems to reflect a more radical feminist ideology: they began from the premise that control of women in society is mainly gained through control of reproduction. Such groups are very strong in fighting specifically for women's rights, (including lesbian rights) and they support consciousness-raising that reflects a strong feminist ideology and promotes the development of a women's culture. Groups such as eFKa and the PSF Foundation correspond to this model. Ultimately, the more pronounced the split between left and right ideologies becomes, the more likely feminist groups are to segregate into either a moderate or radical feminist bloc which is likely to fragment the Polish women's movement even more. Yet, the women involved in all these groups, regardless of whether or not they support left or right ideologies, share the same commitment to the struggle of the Solidarity movement and to the nationalistic ideals that shaped Solidarity: "The Pope's visit in 1979 made everything like a carnival. Cafe's were open late. Under communism it had been quiet, silent in the evening. The day of the pope's visit Cracow belonged to the people again. It was a very special time" (Walczewska 1999). Despite the fact that many women feel they were betrayed by the Church and Solidarity once the communist regulation of Poland ended, these women feel a strong connection to the Church and relate this to the sense of liberation the Pope's visit brought (Limanowska 1999, Walczewska 1999). The possibility exists that such connections and memories of Poland's struggles may ultimately enable women's groups to find some common ground to develop a "women's consciousness" that would be uniquely Polish. There is evidence of growing support for women's culture in the areas of women's literature and research on gender issues but there are still many obstacles. According to Barbara Limanowska, the 63 writings of female authors in the 1930s were very influential for women who are currently activists (1999). I purchased The History of Polish Literature by Czeslaw Milosz in 1998 and discovered there were a few references to female authors but there was no section devoted to women's literature. In his text, Milosz critiques a poem by Wislawa Szymborska: "She is probably at her best where her women's sensibility outweighs her existential brand of rationalism" (1969, p. 485). Although I believe that Milosz actually acknowledges her talent, my interpretation of this reference to "women's sensibility" is that it focuses more on her sex than her ability as a poet. Wislawa Szymborska won the 1996 Nobel Prize in literature. In regard to gender studies, Ewa Gontarczyk-Wesola states that "much of the existing Polish research on women has obscured women's experiences of gender relations" (1997, p. 61). Wesola identifies the absence of feminist concepts in Polish research as a major obstacle. The research that is done for example, on certain professional groups is unable to present a clear picture of women's experiences (1997). Ultimately, women's consciousness would have to reflect the differences in the perspectives among women in Poland and their experiences. The split between.different women's organization on what they perceive women's' roles in Polish society to be has resulted in some women's groups redefining their goals and their perspectives. Conservative women's organizations such as Catholic groups acknowledge the economic strain that families are experiencing, and according to Martha Wojczik, are preparing to lobby the government to provide women with some income assistance while they remain at home to raise a family (1999). This decision by Catholic groups demonstrates that these conservative groups are recognizing that women 64 need to have at least some economic independence. In comparison, women's groups that are moving towards a more moderate perspective of family planning are making an effort to compromise by shifting part of their focus to the family as a unit rather than just advocating women's reproductive rights as simply the rights of women. Ultimately, both examples of shifting perspectives reflect the neo-liberal influences currently prevalent in Poland. The state and social organizations promote the ideals of meritocracy and equal opportunity of choice for women while allowing the economy to develop with as little state intervention as possible. 65 CHAPTER IV THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE MATERNAL IMAGE AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE POLISH WOMEN'S MOVEMENT The Origins of the Polish Women's Movement The period of the Solidarity movement and Martial Law was integral to the development of the Polish women's movement. Solidarity, especially while Martial Law was imposed, provided women, many who were active for the first time, the opportunity to develop organizational skills and to gain experience in activism that later facilitated the development of their own organizations when leaders of Solidarity refused to represent women's issues (Long 1996). The women currently involved in the women's organizations (excluding Catholic groups) developed a feminist ideology based on western feminism (Siemienska 1999). However, Polish women will need to develop their own type of feminism, which acknowledges in part the ideology that characterizes women's participation in and contribution to the continuing struggle to establish civil society in Poland (Hauser 1993, p. 268). As Tanya Renne states: "In Poland, the history of some kind of women's movement is long and arduous" (1997, p. 4). Malgorzata Fuszara attributes the origins of the Polish women's movement to women's involvement in Poland's struggle for independence in the eighteenth century (1997, p. 130). Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, women continued to fight for equal rights, and in 1918, obtained the right to vote. The communist regulation of Poland after 1945 served only to stall the progress of the women's movement (Fuszara 1997, p. 130-134). By the 1980s, female students were becoming increasingly interested in the feminist ideology and began forming informal women's groups in the university 66 seminars (Plakwicz 1999, Siemienska 1999). Women's emerging interest in feminist ideology provided women with the means to develop a consciousness of their own interests - a women's consciousness (Long 1996, p. 171). Yet this consciousness has also been shaped by a historical consciousness and the ideals of communism, both of which have significantly influenced Polish culture (Long 1996). Kristi Long determines that Poles perceive the events of Polish history in relation to how these events have shaped contemporary Polish society based on Theodore Schieder's concept of historical consciousness: historical consciousness [is defined] as the ability to recognize the epochal quality of an event that is happening now.. .the essence of historical consciousness lies not in merely remembering the past but in the way we see the present. Thus historical consciousness transcends the exclusive preoccupation with what happened in the past and has become history, and uses this knowledge as an element in shaping the thoughts and actions that will determine the future (Schieder 1978, p. 1). The maternal image of the 'Polish Mother" is integral to the development of Polish historical consciousness; however, this image must also be considered in relation to the religious influences on Polish culture and the political development of Poland as a nation state. Poland's first connection with the Church was politically motivated: Mieszko, the first Polish king, married a Christian Bohemian princess to establish a connection with the "Latin West", which he believed would protect Poland from an invasion by Germanic tribes or by the Byzantine empire on the pretext of christianizing Poland (Halecki 1976). Additionally, Mieszko placed Poland under the protection of the Holy See, which entered Poland into an obligatory relationship with the Church and established the authority of the Church over Poland's rulers. Later, in the thirteenth century, Poland's defeat of the Tartars prevented the invaders from assailing the rest of Western Europe and prompted 67 Machiavelli to name Poland as "the bastion of Christianity" (Halecki 1976, Wieniewski, 1981). In this period, the Church hymn "Bogurodzica" (O Mother of God) was composed, and later became a symbol of sacrifice and perseverance to Polish people as well as Poland's first national anthem (Long 1996, Zamoyski 1987). The maternal image took on a greater significance in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1655, the Swedish army invaded Poland and attacked the Church and the Monastery at Czestochowa. It is here that the Jasna Gora (shrine of the "Black Madonna") is located.3 The image of Poland as the "Christ of Nations" evolved in the latter part of the eighteenth century when Poland was partitioned and ceased to exist as a state until the end of WWI. 4 Under Russian occupation, Polish mothers assumed the responsibility of teaching Polish language and history in the home and thus preserving Polish culture (Long 1996, Reading 1992, Zamoyski 1987). Women also participated in the struggle against the occupation by wearing mourning as a symbol of protest and by forming groups to provide provisions such as food, weapons, medical assistance, and intelligence information to those involved in armed insurrections. The image of "Matka-Bohaterska" (mother-hero) emerged, and by the twentieth century, the maternal image broadened from a spiritual image in Polish culture to a defining role for Polish women that demarcates women's function in both the private and public spheres of society (Long 1996). 3 The Black Madonna is a painting of the Virgin Mary which was done in the fourteenth century. The wood darkened with age which gave the face of Mary a dark complexion. The painting was slashed with a sword leaving gashes in the facial part of the portrait. Artisans attempted to restore the painting but, because of the type of wax used to coat the wood, the gashes kept reappearing. This occurrence increased the sense of mysticism around the image of the Madonna. 4 Poland was partitioned three times from 1772-1795 by Prussia, Austria, and Russia. During this period, attempts were made to eradicate Polish language and culture - it was forbidden to teach the Polish language and history in schools and all official business was to be conducted in Russian (Zamoyski 1987). 68 Historical consciousness, which Kristi Long refers to "as an ideology of the past", has played an important part in the social and cultural construction of women's roles in Polish society (1996, p. 5). Cultural symbols, such as the Black Madonna, are defined in relation to specific historical events, yet each event or the interpretation of the event has the potential of shaping or adding meaning to these symbols. The Black Madonna symbolizes the ideal Polish woman - a chaste and honorable protector of the family as well as savior of the Polish culture - whose personal needs and aspirations are sacrificed for the benefit of the family and the state. Consequently, many women both revere and reject the symbol of the Madonna that, on one hand, epitomizes the perseverance of Poles to safeguard their culture, but also illustrates the extent to which women are subordinated in Polish society (Long 1996). Overall, historical consciousness has shaped Polish culture, the identity of Solidarity, and the women's movement and its struggles. In Polish culture, women are perceived to be the caregivers, not only of the family but also of Polish culture and society. Consequently, women's interests are considered public interests - interests of the nation. For women, the influences of historical consciousness and communist ideology have created a paradox. On the one hand, women have been expected to subordinate their interests/concerns to those of the family and society, and on the other they have been advised that they should share the same rights and responsibilities as men - to engage in paid work and to be active in public life.. This contradiction has been exemplified in Solidarity. The changes proposed by Solidarity were to benefit all members of society, yet women were absent from most of the decision-making processes of the movement, both at its inception in 1980 and its emergence as a legitimate political movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their 69 participation in Solidarity was often (though not always) limited to supportive roles such as providing food to striking workers and, during martial law, performing much of the monotonous paperwork and courier-type work.5 Because of the contradictions surrounding how women were to benefit from and to participate in Solidarity, women began to form a movement of their own to deal with issues affecting women that were otherwise being ignored. Relations of Production and Reproduction Past and Present: The Basis for Two Major Issues for the Women's Movement in Poland The women's movement that re-emerged at the beginning of Poland's transition to a free market economy sought to deal with women's issues, primarily the anti-abortion legislation and factors influencing women's employment, that the state would not address or addressed in a manner that many women found detrimental. But issues of the women's movement which formed after the break with Solidarity did not arise as a result of the economic transition, but were also important concerns of women during the communist period. Women's oppression in Poland continued to exist after World War II despite the promises made by the communist regime and the fact that equality rights were written into the Constitution of the Polish Republic (1952, art. 66). These rights were established in order to guarantee every citizen access to work, education, and medical care. In addition, the State was to ensure that nurseries and kindergartens were made available to enable mothers to work outside the home (Malinowska, p.36). The 5 Solidarity was kept alive during the period of martial law mainly because of the underground presses. Women were usually couriers of information such as books for the presses since it was common to see women carrying heavy bundles and consequently, women were seldom searched by police (Long 1996, p. 63). 70 socialization of childcare was one of the ways the communist State attempted to improve gender equality. Unfortunately, the State's attempt to socialize domestic work did not address other structural issues of gender inequality, specifically, women's roles "as good public workers/mothers/wives/domestic workers" (Corrin, p. 11). The socialization of childcare demonstrated that such labour should not remain unpaid; however, the State did little to change the view that childcare is part of the private sphere. The workers in childcare facilities have remained predominantly female. In fact, legislation created for pregnant women and mothers still sustains women's role as reproducer over producer: "pregnant women are not allowed to work at jobs that are dangerous to health, they are not allowed to work overtime or on night-shifts" (Plakwicz, p. 83). In addition, only women are allowed to take paid leave immediately after the baby's birth (a father may take leave only in the case of the mother's death). The woman is not only seen as the primary caregiver of children, but also of the sick and of the elderly. Female family members usually share domestic work, including the caring for of family members. Despite legislation guaranteeing women equal status in the family, the only domestic work shared by husbands involves household budgets (Plakwicz, pp. 81-2). Consequently, state legislation created under the communist regime has reinforced traditional views of women. As women continued to enter the workforce, several important consequences of women's employment became apparent very quickly. To begin with, the socialization of childcare and domestic work proved to be too expensive for the State to maintain. By "the mid-sixties, the subsidy element in public services got reduced" (Brahme, p. 10). In 71 the end, fewer childcare facilities materialized for working mothers, which has left childcare as the primary responsibility of women. Secondly, women who have entered the workforce have had little opportunity to advance in any particular occupations because of heavy domestic responsibilities. By the seventies, "for women the working day [lasted] for 16 to 18 hours...[approximately] 8 hours [was devoted] to domestic work" (Brahme, p. l 1). A third result of such heavy workloads for women has been a rapidly declining birth rate. Legislative changes were introduced which were intended as incentives to increase the birth rate, and which allowed for women to take long term unpaid leave for the purpose of childcare; however, women often did not take advantage of such leave because of financial constraints (Brahme, p. 13). Since men have remained the principal earners and have had more opportunities for occupational advancement, women have not experienced significant improvement in gender equality in the area of employment. Finally, in a study of women who hold political office, the burden of the private sphere has been identified as an important barrier to women's political involvement: The single most clearly identified theme, mentioned by 47 percent of respondents was lack of time and the feeling of being overwhelmed by the responsibilities of paid employment and work at home (Regulska, p.51). The ideology of the communist state supported women's involvement in all areas of public life. Although most of the positions held by women were not particularly powerful. Despite their lack of immediate power, the fact that they were allowed to participate politically provided women with a potential opportunity to promote women's issues. However, because of the burden of women's role in society as working mothers, women were prevented from exploiting their political position. Yet, it is doubtful that an 72 abundance of childcare would have been sufficient to improve women's situation in this instance; society's entire perspective on women's role would have needed to change. Culturally, women have always had the role of caregivers, and for women's situation to improve, attitudes of Poles would have to change in such a way that the role of care giving of the family would need to be seen as a responsibility shared by men and women. Simultaneously, Poles would have to change their way of thinking in terms of women's roles in public life - it would be necessary to perceive women's participation in public life as integral to Polish society. During the eighties the State attempted to maintain day care institutions and nurseries; however, deteriorating economic conditions made it necessary to increase fees. In previous decades, there had always been a shortage of space available in such facilities. As fees increased, usage of the facilities decreased. For some families, it made more sense financially to have one parent remain at home: "the impoverishment of society has created a situation in which it costs less to keep children at home than to avail oneself of specialized private or state-run institutions" (Ciechocinska, p. 316). By the end of the eighties, support for socialized childcare for the most part had disappeared. The facilities that remained were being dismantled or privatized. In fact, in the section on "Health Care and Social Welfare" in the Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Poland, there were no data for subsidized daycare facilities or programs, except those that involve children who are temporarily or permanently removed from their homes (2000, 249-272). The lack of subsidized childcare has resulted in the disparities in the levels of employment of men and women, and the levels of employment of women of different 73 skill and educational levels. Women in Poland have traditionally earned lower wages than men even during the communist period: "between 1982 and 1991 women earned on average between 66 and 67 percent of the wages earned by men" (Titkow 1994, p.30). The table below is based on gross monthly wages for the month of October in the year 2000, and illustrates current gender differences in wages. Table 3: Percentages of Men and Women Earning Gross Monthly Wages Ranging from 650 to 4500+ Zloty (Statistical Yearbook 2000, pp. 162-163). Wages 700 zl and less 701 -940 zl 941 -1500 zl 1501 -3000 zl 3001 -4500 zl More than 4500 zl Women 55% 62% 87% 44% 32% 31% Men 45% 38% 13% 56% 68% 69% Women make up the greater percentage of people earning lower wages whereas a significantly higher percentage of men earn the highest wages. Therefore, when the costs of childcare increase, the woman is the likely parent to remain at home with the children. Such a situation serves simultaneously to increase the men's status as principle earner and decrease women's economic independence. In addition, women who have higher paying jobs can afford privatized childcare whereas women with fewer skills or a lower level of education earn a lower wage and, consequently, are more likely to give up their employment i f the cost of childcare becomes too high. Women also remain unemployed for longer periods than men, for example, women made up 64.8% of the people who were unemployed for two years or more (Warner 1997, p. 41). The longer these women remain absent from the workforce, the more difficult it becomes to re-enter the workforce 74 at a later date. It does not take long for a person's skills to become outdated (Ciechocinska, p. 320). Women's unemployment is a major issue for women's groups in Poland. According to Jonathon Warner, the changes brought about by the restructuring of the economy have had particularly detrimental effects on women's unemployment: "women make up about 46% of the workforce, but almost 53% of the unemployed are women (1997, p.41). As downsizing occurs in the industrial sector, women appear to be laid off at a much greater rate than men (Ciechocinska, p. 321). Future economic restructuring will result in a huge increase of service sector jobs, which will doubtlessly be filled by women (Ciechocinska, p. 323). However, these jobs will probably require a lower level of skill and will correspondingly pay lower wages. The result is that it will be even more difficult for women to improve their situation in the workforce and to establish their economic independence. In response to the dramatic increase in unemployment in Poland, the private sector has funded a huge selection of training programs in the areas of management, business administration, and foreign languages (Bialecki, p. 127). It is the intent of the private sector to retrain many of the skilled personnel previously employed in managerial and administrative positions by the State. Since males previously held these positions, one can conclude that the new positions created in the private sector will also be filled by males (Malinowska, p.36). In previous years, females dominated enrolment in post secondary business management and language training programs but this trend now appears to be changing: The programs with the largest proportions of males are those that restrict admission to those currently managing state enterprises; but even foreign 75 languages, a traditionally female area, has a higher proportion of males than in the past (Bialecki, p. 130). If such trends continue, women will not only find themselves competing for jobs but for university places as well. Increased competition combined with extremely high enrolment fees for training programs will make it much more difficult for women to establish themselves in the new market economy. The challenges faced by women in regards to the new market economy are augmented by the attitudes of Polish society towards unemployed men versus unemployed women. In a quantitative study, Irena Reszke examined people's opinions of unemployment in Poland (p. 13). What she found to be surprising in her analysis were the gender differences in responses to the questions of "What are unemployed men most frequently occupied with?" and "What are unemployed women most frequently occupied with?" The results demonstrated that both male and female respondents believed that: only women were concerned with domestic duties and childcare and where to get money; men traded in the streets three times as much as women; men drank [alcohol] seven times as much as women; and men were twice as likely to do nothing than women (Reszke, p. 15). Reszke concludes that people assume women deal with the issue of unemployment better than men and that women can be usefully occupied in the home when unemployed whereas men cannot (p. 16). Such attitudes towards unemployment are harmful because they can be used to justify women's dismissal or exclusion from the workforce. It is not unusual to see advertisements for employment specifying the sex of the worker wanted (Fuszara 1994, 78). These attitudes also signify that, despite the supposedly liberating influences of the West, the traditional image of women as wife and 76 mother prevails in Polish society and continues to determine women's lower economic status as well as perpetuate gender discrimination in the workplace. While focusing on the relationship between women and the economy, it is impossible to ignore the issue of women's reproductive role in society. The restructuring of the economy in Poland has focused on what is most beneficial to the private sector. Public services for childcare do not produce a profit and, therefore, have been effectively eliminated or replaced with privatized, for-profit, agencies. The elimination of subsidized childcare services has uncovered some important benefits for the emerging capitalist system. Women who cannot afford private childcare are returning to the private sphere: this provides unpaid domestic labour for the capitalist system; it alleviates some of the competition for work; and when low paying, part-time, service sector jobs become available, it provides a reserve army of cheap labour (Titkow 1998 p. 325). The feminization of poverty also benefits patriarchy: i f women are relegated to the private sphere, then men's power in the public sphere remains unchallenged. However, women in Poland must also contend with the patriarchal views of the Catholic Church. The rest of this chapter will examine the manner in which the influence of the Catholic Church has been used to erode women's reproductive rights and women's equality rights in general. The Fight Over Women's Reproductive Rights The struggle over women's reproductive rights in Poland began in the thirties as a result of the growing concern over the risks of illegal abortions. Changes were made in 1932 to the penal code, which allowed for induced abortion "in cases of rape, incest or 77 medical indications" (Jankowska, p. 174). These laws remained in effect until 1956 when abortion was finally legalized by the State: "abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy is allowed on demand for a woman who gives a statement about her difficult economic or social situation" (Jankowska, p. 174). Although abortion laws in Poland remained unchanged until the mid-nineties, the Church continuously opposed legislation legalizing abortion. However, women did not feel threatened that the Church would be able to impose its views against abortion at these times because they felt that their rights were already guaranteed by the State. Although abortion was legalized by the State, women did not have as much free access to abortions as the legislation implied. In fact, physicians had the authority to decide whether or not a woman was eligible for an abortion. Physicians ultimately judged whether or not a woman's claim for an abortion was valid: "[such claims were based on] "bad living risks or pregnancy resulting from a criminal act" (Fuszara 1991, p. 117). Physicians were not able to opt out of performing abortions on the basis of their personal views. Yet there was actually nothing to prevent a physician, who was morally opposed to performing abortions, from denying a woman's claim. Consequently, physicians were still able to control women's access to abortion despite the fact that legislation existed to prevent this. Since 1991 further restrictions on abortion claims have been legislated by the State. Women are now required to specify what "bad living conditions" they are experiencing in order to justify their claim for abortion and are required to see a state-registered psychologist before their claim is approved (Fuszara 1991, p. 123). In addition, physicians must now have the collaboration of at least two other physicians before accepting a woman's claim and must inform women of the health risks related to abortions and of the support services available to women who decide not to abort. Despite the fact that the State has refused to repeal legislation legalizing abortions, it is obvious that the State has attempted to appease the Catholic Church by restricting women's access to abortions. Neither the State nor the Church has considered the issue of abortion from the standpoint of what reproductive rights mean to women. The preceding example is only one way in which the Church has been successful in using its power to influence legislative changes that have further restricted women's reproductive rights. In her study of laypeople and experts, and their attitudes towards abortion, Jacqueline Heinen discovered huge differences between the perspectives of quality of life held by the experts and those held by the average citizen (1995, p. 27). For example, those people who supported a pro-life stance asserted that, "human life is a supreme value" (Heinen 1995, p. 27). Yet, such people refused to consider how such factors as poverty, illness, and unemployment might have devastating effects on human life, particularly that of an infant. This is an especially significant consideration because, as mentioned earlier, women applying for abortions must be able to convince experts that such factors constitute "bad living conditions". If experts, such as physicians espouse Catholic views of abortion and allow their own views of morality to cloud their judgment, then they will be likely be unable to comprehend the adverse "life conditions" of many women. In addition, Heinen asserts that the language used by pro-life advocates focuses on the importance of the fetus to the extent that the mother's life is made to seem 79 insignificant: "terminology [is] modified in [such a way that it] serves to arm a discourse completely biased toward the 'defense of life'" (1995, p. 29). Many pro-life "experts" deny that some women may face dire risks during pregnancy. Initially, they refer to scientific studies, which they claim remove all risks to the mother due to pregnancy. If questioned about such studies, these same people then change their focus to a moral issue, stating that the life of the child is more important than that of the mother (Heinen 1995, p. 30). In the instance of rape, pro-life supporters attempt to manipulate victims of rape by making them feel that they are punishing the child for the rape: "'a rapist receives 12 years in prison. But a child conceived during a rape receives capital punishment!" (Heinen 1995, p. 30). Such experts and laypeople are intimidated by the power of the Catholic Church and do not possess the objectivity necessary as professionals to consider what factors are responsible for creating the need for abortions. Experts are not the only professionals intimidated by the Catholic Church. Political parties and leaders such as Lech Walesa have avoided taking any stand on the issue of women's reproductive rights (Heinen 1992, p. 130). However, it is difficult to determine i f the views of many contemporary political figures simply reflect the moral ideology of the Catholic Church or if they espouse such views because it better serves their power as males to have women's rights restricted. For example, in the spring of 1990, the Senate's ad hoc committee gathered to debate the issue of abortion. The only "experts" initially allowed to present their views to the committee were members of the clergy (Heinen 1992, p. 135). An outcry from feminist groups resulted in a second presentation during which women's groups attempted to address the committee; however, their presentations were sufficiently restricted that they were incapable of adequately expressing their views. In her research, Heinen has found that women are increasingly obstructed in their attempts to take part in the political decision-making process, not only regarding national issues but those that affect "women's own lives". Ultimately, women in Poland will be forced to become more politically active and to seize some degree of political power i f they are to enhance and protect their rights as women. 81 CHAPTER V POLITICAL AND CULTURAL ANALYSES OF THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT Three Theoretical Perspectives and Stages of the Polish Women's Movement 1980 -1999 The overall development of the women's movement in Poland encompasses almost a two hundred year period; however, the last two decades are particularly significant since this period coincides with the Solidarity movement and Poland's transition to a market economy. It will also be useful to consider the women's movement in the 1980s and 1990s from the perspective of three stages of development. In addition, three theoretical perspectives - Gramscian, Resource Mobilization, and New Social Movement - will be used to examine the development of the women's movement over the three stages. The first stage is characterized by the growing interest in feminism and activism and women's contribution to Solidarity. The second stage is identified by women's break with Solidarity; women became disillusioned with the leadership of Solidarity when it became obvious that women's interests were not going to be represented and women's political participation would neither be encouraged nor supported. This stage is also marked by a proliferation of women's organizations that mostly were established in protest against the anti-abortion legislation. In the third stage, most women's organizations become professionalized, establishing paid leaders and staff and all organizations focus much of their attention on securing and maintaining funding. 82 Stage One - Seemingly Parallel Ideologies: The Re-emergence of the Women's Movement and the Emergence of Solidarity The changes that have occurred in Poland during the three stages discussed above involve broad cultural changes as well as changes in economy, the political structure and the consciousness of Polish people. In a paper that examined Poland's evolution to a capitalist state at the end of the 20 t h century, Charles Tilly's theory of state formation in Europe (feudal to modern period) outlines how economic and political factors determined the manner in which capital is concentrated. According to Tilly, European states developed along the lines of one of three trajectories: capitalist-intensive, coercion-intensive or coercive-capitalist (1990). Tilly's model of state formation demonstrated how political and economic factors combined to produced a state in Poland that did not have a standing army - the state was divided up into duchies and much energy and resources were spent on internal squabbles. Capital was dispersed throughout Poland in many small localities with small local markets. Unlike Russia, Poland did not develop a centralized coercive bureaucracy which maintained control over landlords by issuing land grants to warriors. In Russia, these warrior lords were loyal to the tsar, and also could depend on government intervention to maintain control of the peasants. In contrast, Polish landlords became more powerful than the monarchy, and without a strong centralized force the state could not protect itself from external challenge. According to Tilly, Poland was "the exception that proved the rule" (1990, p. 139). Unable to withstand outside challenge, Poland became a tribute-making state to Russia and others. (Tilly 1990). What is missing from this analysis of state development is the examination of how culture influenced both the political and economic factors. The lack of a centralized 83 bureaucracy weakened Poland and facilitated the partition of Poland in the late 1700s. From the very beginning of Poland's development as a state, Polish leaders continually put Poland under the protection of the Roman Catholic Church. The clergy became a very important ruling group in Poland - landowners, a circumstance that further prevented the concentration of capital and investment and expansion of trade and weakened the support for Poland's rulers. The populace looked to Rome as the head of the state and to the clergy who made up the largest portion of the landowning class. Peasants paid tributes to the Church as opposed to the state. Spiritually and financially the peasants were devoted to the landowning class. A study of social changes in Poland therefore, requires an analysis of cultural factors - the influences of the Church as well economic and political factors. Consequently, an analysis of social change in Poland as a result of Solidarity must consider the influence of culture and role the Church played in helping Poles mobilize support for the movement. By the same token, an analysis of the women's movement must consider the effects of Polish cultural influences on the manner in which women participated in Solidarity and why and how their culture has shaped their own consciousness of their place in Polish society. Polish women have a long history of participation in independence movements. In addition, culturally Polish women are viewed as saviors of the Polish language. Thus, Polish women would likely have felt a duty to be active in their support of the Solidarity movement. Theodor Schieder asserts that there is a direct link between historical consciousness and political action. Images and meanings from the past are not simply recorded or remembered as information. People's ideas in the present are shaped by knowledge of the past because such meanings inevitably shape people's perspectives and 84 goals of the future (Schieder 1978). Therefore, events in history are not just haphazardly linked; historical consciousness and social action are interdependent. In the case of the Solidarity movement, historical consciousness played an important part in the transition of Solidarity from a trade union movement to a mass political movement and the reawakening of nationalist ideals. I would argue though, that the Solidarity movement was also triggered by the economic crisis in the latter part of the 1970s and the changes that occurred between 1970 and 1980 when the expectation existed that Poland should have been prospering from the industrial investments following a period of poor living standards and consumer product shortages in the beginning of the 1970s (Touraine 1983). Based on a Gramscian theoretical perspective, which in this case focuses on the influence of historical/cultural influences and the creation of a new historical bloc, the development of a dominant ideology in Polish society that neither accepted the legitimacy of communist rule, nor the economic regulations and consequences of those regulations, was responsible for the progression of Solidarity from a trade union movement to a mass social movement that effected major political change: The movement that began in July 1980, although ostensibly concerned with issues that were mostly economic and social, derived its huge voltage from old-fashioned revolutionary nationalism tinged with Polish Catholic views of patriotism and human rights.. .it brought Polish workers to the point at which they finally recognized their identity as an independent class whose interests were distinct from those of the party and the ruling bureaucracy (Ascherson 1981, p.25). The recognition of a new identity included the historical consciousness of former struggles of independence. To begin with, the term hegemony is described as the dominant ideology of a society (Bocock 1986). This ideology is accepted and maintains the dominant class 85 through the development of policies and legislation and through institutions that the rest of society accepts and supports (Ratner 1996). This ideology or way of thinking exists because the major groups in society consent to this ideology. According to Robert Bocock, hegemony can be described as "as a moral and philosophical leadership" which is accepted by a given society (1986). Such a definition is applicable when a civil society exists. Dissatisfaction with the communist regulation had existed from the end of WWII when Poland became a communist state through force: the Soviet Union ensured that a Polish communist government was established. Yet the policies of this government were largely dictated by the Soviet state (Zamoyski, 1987). Ideals of Polish nationalism, which were embraced by most of the population i f not by the state, were reinforced through the Catholic Church and the family. Historically, Polish nationalism has been intricately intertwined with Catholicism, and in the 1970s and 1980s, it became an important force in the development of a new radical moral philosophy that challenged the authority of the Soviet regime. This new philosophy was necessary to the success of Solidarity. Polish people wanted to have the right to participate in decision-making that affected the cultural, political and economic concerns in their society (Bocock 1986). In this respect, Solidarity, which depended on the gathering of force within societal institutions, became a "movement of position." In contrast, the manner in which the Soviet state enforced the establishment of a communist government in Poland through force without consent was an example of a "war of movement" (Bocock 1986). Despite economic hardships experienced by Poles at the very end of the 1970s, there was a feeling of optimism that permeated all of Poland. Poles were ecstatic that the 86 < new Pope was Polish - through the Church, Poles felt they had political representation that could challenge the communist government and enhance and improve their situation. This optimism contributed to both Solidarity and the women's movement. According to Slawomira Walczewska, the Pope's visit to Poland in 1979 transformed the bleak existence under communist rule to a feeling that life was "like a carnival or festival". Coffee bars that had usually closed relatively early in the evening were suddenly open almost until dawn and the streets at night were filled with people walking and laughing and feeling free (1999). It is not surprising then, that despite the threat of potential violence, workers began to organize major strikes to protest rising food costs starting in July, 1980 as they had in 1976 and 1970 (Long 1996, p. 28). In a similar manner, women had become increasingly interested in feminist discussions in the late 1970s and 1980s, and as the economic situation worsened and women felt their concerns were completely disregarded despite the egalitarian rhetoric of the communist government, women wanted to discuss their situation and form groups with the idea of becoming politically active: .. .The Communist regime destroyed the women's movement that had developed in Poland between the wars. Before 1939, about eighty women's organizations of varying character and political orientation flourished in Poland, but after World War II all of them were superseded by the Women's League, imposed by Party leadership and not accepted by women themselves. The Women's League, though ostensibly committed to representing women's interests, always cooperated with the ruling elite (Fuszara 1991, p. 128). As the Solidarity movement grew, women turned their attention from feminist discussions and the organization of their own groups, and looked to the Solidarity movement to provide them with the representation of their interests and concerns that the communist government had not (Long 1996). 87 In this period of Poland's history, a new moral philosophy provided Solidarity with fortitude to challenge the communist regime and a new historical bloc was formed. This moral philosophy represented Poles understanding of civil society: Here civil society indicates the domain of cultural presuppositions, ingrained "habits of the heart", values and norms, manners and mores, implicit understandings, frames and codes - shared by the members of society, and constraining (or facilitating) what they actually do.. ."Civi l society is the arena of social solidarity that is defined in universalistic terms. It is the we-ness of a national community, the feeling of connectedness to one another that transcends particular commitments, loyalties and interests and allows there to emerge a single thread of identity among otherwise disparate people" (Sztompka 1998, p. 193). The moral philosophy that developed during Solidarity became the dominant ideology in Poland. For most women in Poland, the new philosophy was an ideology they supported throughout the movement. However, some women, such as Jolanta Plakwicz, stated that from the beginning of Solidarity, a few women were concerned with how much influence the Church appeared to have on the movement. These women were remembering how much the Church had protested the communist government changes to legislation in 1956, which had legalized abortion in Poland (1999). However, most other feminists embraced the support and influence of the Church, and believed that once Poland was free of communist regulation, there would be a liberalizing movement not just in Polish society, but in the Church itself. Looking back on the events as Solidarity gained political power, Slawomira Walczewska stated, "We were very naive. Women were not yet in position to think politically about what the Church might do. Many feminists were later disappointed on the direction Church took. Now [it] looks like [the] Church wants a Catholic totalitarian state" (1999). Most women embraced the ideals put forth by the 88 leadership of Solidarity until certain forces and circumstances effected changes that caused women to reject this dominant ideology. However, other factors besides this new philosophy were important to the achievements of Solidarity and later the formation of women's organizations. Alliances were established between workers, laborers and professionals, as well as the intelligentsia and the Church (Staniszkis 1984, Touraine 1983). In Gramsci's analysis, the formation of such alliances is essential to the overthrow of a regime, alliances that demonstrate unification between different societal forces but that still yield to the proletariat as the leader of the social action (Ratner 1996). Solidarity transformed from a trade union movement to a mass political movement as a result of the unification. But without the support of women, Solidarity might have disintegrated altogether once it was ruled illegitimate in 1982 by the communist government. This unification between women who wanted to become politically active and the Solidarity leadership, which was made up of workers and the intelligentsia who were mostly male was particularly important to the Solidarity movement at the moment of its inception and during the period of Martial Law and at the very beginning. Women became an important component of Solidarity but they usually played a secondary role in the movement with the exception of a few key female activists. Yet, this participation was vital for enabling women to develop their organizational skills as activists. In 1980, crane operator Anna Walentynowicz was fired from her job at the Gdansk shipyards for her involvement in political activities.6 Lech Walensa joined other union activists and initiated an occupation of the Gdansk shipyards. This situation set off 6 Anna Walentynowicz, a Baltic Free Trades Union Activist had been involved in such activities as union organizing and writing for the underground press (Long 1996, Plakwicz 1992). many other strikes in Gdansk that spread eventually to other cities and finally to Warsaw itself. Negotiations were set up between the Solidarity delegates, made up of union activists including Walensa and Polish intellectuals, and the Polish government; eventually agreements were signed. Yet the strikes would not have extended beyond the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk had it not been for Alina Pienkowska, a nurse, who had encouraged workers to support strikes in other less influential workplaces (Long 1996, Kennedy 1991, Ost 1990, Ascherson 1981). Both Walentynowicz and Pienkowska played important parts in Solidarity; however, women were also integral to the movement through their supportive roles; they provided food for those who were occupying the shipyards and did much of the preparation of leaflets and other written information. During martial law, women took on the often thankless tasks of gathering and delivering information, without which Solidarity as an underground movement would have ceased to exist (Long 1996). Also important to the unification of the different groups was the political view of those involved in Solidarity and the part that the intelligentsia played in the movement. Solidarity did not project itself as a movement that would take control of state power, as with a revolution, but instead promoted the idea that Polish people should have the right to participate in the decision-making process that affected Polish culture, economy and politics. In other words, Polish people had the right to influence those forces affecting their quality of life, both physically and spiritually. Such goals were accepted and promoted by all the groups involved in Solidarity, not just the intelligentsia. In Solidarity, the intelligentsia served as mediators between the state and the workers, participating in the negotiations (Staniszkis 1984). The intelligentsia did not present 90 itself as an elitist group, which would raise the consciousness of the workers but instead, protested alongside the workers in support of the ideals that were already important to Solidarity and were particularly important in articulating the interests of the working class (Ascherson 1981). For the women involved in Solidarity, this was the beginning of their training to think politically, and also to develop a consciousness of how a civil society in Poland could be used to guarantee equality rights for women. In addition, Solidarity provided opportunities for women of different educational backgrounds and interests to meet, which later facilitated the formation of alliances and support between women's groups in the 1990s. Genowefa Klimasara explained that many of the women in women's groups throughout Poland may not have been directly involved in Solidarity themselves, but they knew someone who was, and many of the leaders of the organizations either were directly involved or had very strong ties to the movement (1999). Despite the extent to which women supported Solidarity at the onset and throughout the Martial Law period, women increasingly found their participation in Solidarity less than completely fulfilling. Many women perceived their role in Solidarity to be supportive rather than linked to direct involvement. Those who were more directly involved in the movement felt constrained by their familial duties and were often pressured by spouses to limit their participation in activism. Many activists who had children also reported feeling guilty for spending less time with their children since they felt their primary role was that of mother (Long 1996). Women's activism in Poland from the period of the Partitions to the present has been shaped by historical consciousness, in particular, by the image of the Matka Bohaterska (Long 1996). 91 However, though many activists did feel the need to somehow balance their participation in Solidarity and their duties as mothers and wives, there were some activists who rejected the idea that the maternal image was a basis on which their roles as women as well as activists were to be defined. However, they acknowledged that the image was an important symbol in Polish history: .. .the issue of the "mother" image was important in many narratives in one fashion or another. The controlling image is a powerful one, and one which female activists were generally forced to negotiate. For some, it was an empowering force—a basis for their lives as activists. Often in this case the opposition movement became, for them, a domestic situation writ large. Others, although initially locating themselves in their narrative about the history of the union in a maternal/familial role, later moved beyond these limits, becoming involved in different types of activism and in union (and post-union) organization and politics. Finally, there was a small group of women who fought against that image, refusing it either as a basis for empowerment or a horizon defining their opposition activities (Long 1996, p. 137). Although to this point, the focus of the theoretical explanation has been on elements of the Gramscian perspective of stage one and an examination of the key force in this stage - the influence of historical/cultural forces and the creation of the new historical bloc - it is necessary to note that economic and political structural forces and the development of consciousness are also important. The strikes in 1980 were initiated in response to economic policies set out by the state, yet the economic tension was more of a mediating force. The consciousness of women is not a powerful factor at this stage, but it is still important: .. .the experience of Solidarity activism did often have positive impact upon women.. .First and foremost, for many women, Solidarity was their first experience in activism. Through historical consciousness expressing their sense of participation in major events of history, women are able to construct a sense of active agency for themselves.. .Activist women have created a shared historical consciousness of their participation, with shared 92 narrative forms, shared pamiakti [memories], and typical contents, yet each is inflected for personal experiences (Long 1996, p. 178). Women's experiences of Solidarity differed significantly from those of men. These shared experiences enabled these activists to develop a women's consciousness of their participation in the movement. Women were aware of their position in society as primary care givers and wage earners, but the goals of Solidarity were directed toward improving the quality of life for all Polish people so there was little incentive for Solidarity leadership to focus on specific gender goals. The influence of the changes in economic and political structures became a primary force in the second stage. Stage Two - Break From Solidarity and the Development of the Polish Women's Movement as a Mass Social Movement Although the second stage of the re-emergence of the women's movement was relatively short, approximately 1989-1993, it was the stage that brought the movement to the attention of the West. It is at this point that the movement can be characterized as a social movement in much the same way as Solidarity. By the early 1980s, Solidarity was no longer simply a trade union movement but instead had developed into a mass movement that called for major political changes and, in 1989 was re-legalized by the government during the "Round Table" talks (Kloc 991, p. 15). Although most women were relegated to "behind the scenes" roles in Solidarity, a small group of feminists was, in 1989, able to form the Women's Section of Solidarity devoted to supporting women's rights to abortion and the civil rights of women overall. The male leadership of Solidarity never supported this section but they tolerated it until 1991 when the section 93 actively protested against proposed legislative bills banning abortions and contraceptives. The national leader of Solidarity, Krzaklewski then disbanded the section, accusing it of being an "attack on conception" and anti-Polish (Long 1996, Hauser 1993). Once the Women's Section was disbanded (though it was re-established within a short period but was now supportive of the anti-abortion legislation), the women who had been involved with the section continued to be active in protests against the anti-abortion legislation. Malgorzata Tarasiewisc, who had headed the Women's Section, went on to join the Network of East-West Women, and travels throughout Poland and neighbouring countries organizing conferences and promoting dialogue between women's groups (Titkow, 1999). In this same period, informal women's groups began to mobilize women in protest of the legislation: In... 1989.. .a draft of an abortion act was submitted to the Diet. The most interesting effect of its submission was the activation of women's groups, [and] the emergence of women's organizations.. .The trend is interesting because it was initiated by the rank and file rather than just imposed upon women (Fuszara 1997, p. 134). Grassroots and academic activists joined together "and brought forces from all over Polish society together to fight back" (Renne 1997, p.4). Funding was coming in from women's organizations in other European countries and the US to aid women's groups in their protests, and groups began to register themselves with C A W as nonprofit groups (Plakwicz, 1999). Reaction to legislation limiting women's reproductive rights and the lack of official political representation for women were not the only factors motivating women's collective action. The social changes caused by the Solidarity movement did not result in a decrease of economic hardship but rather worsened women's economic situation. 94 Under communist regulation, unemployment was virtually unheard of but emerged immediately upon the transition to the market economy and women as a group were particularly affected (Fuszara 1994, Warner 1997). Although the women's groups were established fairly quickly, women's collective action was an ordered response to the deficiency of women's political representation, the erosion of rights, and the material consequences of the transition to a market system. The Polish women's movement exemplifies those kinds of social movements that are organized actions by rational actors rather than chaotic responses based on grievances with a particular situation or system (Buechler 1993, Jenkins 1983). Women's decision to organize independently of Solidarity was not a reaction to the rejection by the Solidarity leadership, but a proactive strategy to deal with their concerns. In addition to losing their political representation through the Women's Section of Solidarity, women's political activity ironically, diminished progressively after the democratization of the Polish government in 1989. According to Barbara Einhorn, by June of 1989, only 13% of the deputies to the Sejm and 6% of the senators were female; this was a drop from the average of 33% of women in parliament pre-1989 in post-communist countries (1993 "Democratization and Women's Movements in Central and Eastern Europe", p.54). Although, political representatives did not really have substantive power under communist regulation, there were quotas in place requiring a certain number of women to be visible in political parties and various organizations, but this changed when the economic transition occurred: In Poland, there was one woman minister, the Minister of Culture, until the government reshuffle of December 1990. And the Polish Plenipotentiary for Women's Affairs, a post at deputy ministerial level, was in 1991 simultaneously transmuted into Government Plenipotentiary for Women and 95 Youth.. ..In February 1992 the first and only holder of this post, Anna Popowicz, was dismissed and the post abolished (Einhorn 1993 "Democratization and Women's Movements in Central and Eastern Europe", p. 54—5) Women's political activism can be examined from a comparison of how women functioned in Poland's political arena before and after the democratization of the government. Charles Tilly's model (Polity Model, see p. 14) for analyzing social movement groups and how they operate in the polity is useful in examining the women's movement in Poland. Groups fall into one of two categories: challengers or contenders and members of the polity. The former use non-routine methods to achieve political influence, such as collective action. The latter, members, use routine methods to influence the government, such as lobbying or legislation (Tilly). Based on Tilly's perspective in the communist period or until 1990, women were able to influence the government using legislation. In 1956, legislation was drafted which legalized abortion, but the Church repeatedly denounced the admissibility of abortion from 1956 to the early 1990s. Women used the legislation drafted in 1956 to argue that access to legal abortions were essential for women's health: "The aim of [the] act is clearly stated.. .to protect women's health against the effects of abortions performed in unsuitable conditions by persons who are not trained physicians" (Fuszara 1991 ). Women were successful at protecting their legal access to abortion at least until the early 1990s when the democratically elected government gave into pressure, mainly from the Church, to repeal the laws legalizing abortion. According to Tilly's Polity Model, women were acting as members of the polity, using routine methods to achieve their goals; however, after the period of transition, once women's political representation had decreased, women as 96 activists were now outside the polity, using non-routine methods, such as collective action to realize their goals. The proliferation of women's groups in the early 1990s reflects the change in how women functioned in the political system. Without adequate representation, women could no longer use routine methods to influence the government and consequently adopted collective action as a means of asserting their concerns. In comparison to western movements, the resources and opportunities contributing to the Polish women's movement in some cases were somewhat different. According to Craig Jenkins, the development of the women's movement in the West was attributed to greater "independence and cohesion of educated women in the labour force and the emergence of a new feminist leadership with insider political ties" (1987, p.274). The women involved in the Polish women's groups were often university students or graduates, and shared the same feminist ideology. Also, many female academics in Polish universities were in the process of setting up gender studies and women's research studies departments. These academics had strong ties to academics in the West who had developed similar gender studies programs years earlier. Polish academics were the professors of the women who were now leaders of women's groups; women in Poland were consequently able to establish connections with feminists in the West which, in turn provided the groups with access to funding avenues previously unaccessed (Siemienska 1999). Polish women began studying women's movements in the West to determine what strategies might be useful to their own movement. 97 However, one major difference between the West and the East women's movements is the factor relating to economic prosperity. Resource Mobilization theorists argue that greater economic wealth is a major contributing factor to the emergence of social movements. In Poland, there was a great expectation that economic prosperity was not far off (Walczewska 1999). Unlike western movements, Polish groups did not benefit from "rising disposable [incomes that would be invested] in social causes" (Jenkins 1987, p.274). Economic changes were not helpful to the movement; however, the political changes had much more impact on the women's movement. The changes in the political structures in Poland both facilitated and impeded women's possibilities for political access. The emergence of Solidarity as a legitimate political force enabled women to establish their own political body within that force, a body which still functions today, though its current ideological perspective is different from that espoused by the original Women's Section. Although the original Women's Section did not survive long, women in that short period were able to establish contacts with people such as trade unionists and researchers in the West who were interested in the Solidarity movement. The media were also an important factor in bringing the women's collective action to the attention of feminists in the West who ultimately enabled the women's groups to obtain the necessary funding as well as develop strategies for mobilizing women to continue their collective action (Walczewska 1999). Although some groups emerged quickly in reaction to proposed abortion law changes in the early 1990s, other groups with long-term goals were also emerging. Jo Freeman provides a model for analyzing how women's organization operate that can be applied to both highly organized and spontaneous grassroots groups and is helpful in the 98 analysis of the Polish women's movement (1979). She develops four elements in her model: "mobilizeable resources, constraints on these resources, social movement organization (SMO) structure and internal environment, and expectations about potential targets" (Freeman 1979, p. 170). In a study of the US women's movement, Freeman also identifies four basic factors that she feels are important to the emergence of the liberation movement of the 1960s, and I believe the following factors should be considered in conjunction with her model: (1) the growth of a preexisting communications network which was (2) co-optable to the ideas of a new movement; (3) a series of crises that galvanized into action people involved in this network, and/or (4) subsequent organizing efforts to weld the spontaneous groups together in a movement (1979 p. 802). In her model, she considers different types of resources in addition to money. Women's organizations in Poland have had great difficulty obtaining funding, though at the very beginning, when these groups did not have office space and staff costs, their immediate needs were for funds for such things as paper and other supplies, printing, and telephone costs. The media provided women's organizations with the publicity they needed to get the attention of large women's organizations in the West. Poland and Solidarity were in the news in the early 1990s. The country was filled with journalists from around the world who wanted to observe the outcome of democracy replacing communist regulation (Walczewska 1999). The collective actions over the anti-abortion legislation quickly caught the attention of the journalists and this spread of information facilitated the establishment of connections between feminists in Poland and other countries. The international networks provided Polish women's groups with the opportunity to access information that enabled women to organize themselves more efficiently. Polish women 99 spent a great deal of time studying the US women's movements and identifying the kinds of barriers and problems the movement encountered (Plakwicz, 1999). The networks also provided information on how to obtain funding and from which agencies. The women's movement in Poland also had a pre-existing network as a consequence of the Solidarity movement and the period of Martial Law, and this rather informal but national network served to connect women from one end of Poland to the other, from urban to rural areas. Although many of the women in the movement had not participated in Solidarity, they were able to contact those women that did. The experience of the women in Solidarity was an important resource for the women's movement. The skills they had acquired were passed on to women forming groups (Titkow, 1999). In addition, the connection that the women's groups had to the academics in the universities provided them with research information on such issues as abortion and unemployment that would otherwise have been inaccessible to them. This national network of women's organizations was particularly important for the smaller informal women's groups that relied on the larger organizations to provide them with funding information and often research information (Kimasara 1999). As Freeman points out, not only must there be a pre-existing network, but this network had to be co-optable by the newly emerging movement. The basic ideals of the Solidarity movement had been to develop a civil society in terms of how Poles understood the concept. Poles wanted to exist in a society in which Polish consciousness would reflect the cultural and nationalistic values which they had struggled to preserve for so long, and Poles wanted to enjoy the experience of free association - the formation of nongovernmental groups. These ideals were carried forth and became the foundation 100 for the women's movement - but with a focus on women's rights as citizenship rights. The third factor - crisis - "galvanized" women of the new movement. The crisis was identified as the threat of legislative change, making abortion illegal and the sudden and high increase in unemployment for women. However, the legislative changes were particularly important: [initially, the government proposed] an extremely restrictive law which, in addition to outlawing contraceptives, would enforce a total ban on abortions with considerable (i.e., three year) prison sentences for both doctor and patient. Women were particularly galvanized by the latter provision. Spontaneous groups arose in protest, the newly formed Women's Section of Solidarity protested to the senate.. .and there were large demonstrations of women, particularly in Warsaw (Long 1996, p. 169). These were important issues affecting all women, and i f some women might not have been totally supportive of the women's movement's stance on abortion, they certainly supported the fight for the right to work for women. In this stage of the women's movement the most difficult constraints were the external ones - government, Church, and any other groups that perceived women's fight for reproductive rights to be potentially detrimental to the ideal of the traditional family unit. There were fewer internal constraints. Women were still organizing and mobilizing and it was a period of the movement where all the groups were united in their focus on specific issues, primarily the abortion legislation. The women shared the same basic values at this time and those values were the ones being threatened. The structure of the organizations at this time was very informal, even for the ones already developing in multi-issue organizations, such as the C A W , which formed in 1991. Its focus began to change by 1993 when it took on the task of registering all women's groups in Poland. 101 Even these larger organizations had non-hierarchal structures and attempted to achieve a consensus among all members on decisions being made and how resources were to be used (Plakwicz 1999, Walczewska 1999). At this time also, all the groups focused on the government as the target to bring about change in terms of women's employment issues, and to safeguard women's rights regarding abortion legislation. After 1989 and the first set of free elections, women believed that they truly had rights as citizens and that these rights would be protected in a democratic state (Plakwicz 1999, Walczewska, 1999). To a lesser degree, women's groups attempted to have discussions with members of the Church to determine whether the Church would acknowledge the necessity to preserve women's rights; however, very little was achieved in these discussions (Nowacka 1999). One final factor that Jo Freeman identifies as necessary for the emergence of a women's movement is the effort to link, coordinate, and organize groups. In the Polish women's movement, we see this in the process of registering all women's organizations by the C A W and later by OSKa. The intent was to facilitate communication and the transfer of information between all groups. Ironically, this process also marks the point at which the larger organizations start to become professionalized SMOs and the focus moves away from collective action toward "organizational maintenance". The change in focus and structure of the larger organizations in the women's movement also signifies the beginning of the third stage of the women's movement where the development of a women's consciousness that is shared by all groups becomes the primary issue. 102 Stage Three - Raising Consciousness in the Polish Women's Movement: Barriers to Developing a Common Identity In the third stage of the women's movement, the discussion will focuses on the development of women's consciousness that is integral to the development of a unified movement. New Social Movement (NSM) theories identify movements, such as the women's movement as focusing on "quality-of-life" issues" and the importance of identity. These movements are characterized by a concentration on cultural aspirations and are not interested in traditional forms of political participation (Plotke 1990, p. 85). In regard to the Polish women's movement, new social movement theories can be used to illustrate the significance of identity and consciousness, and the interconnection between women's identity and consciousness and cultural influences. However, it is important to note that, Polish women remained very interested in conventional forms of political participation. Based on my own observation of various social groups that meet the general criteria of NSMs, I think many of these groups are finding it necessary to participate in traditional forms of political participation to achieve their goals and obtain resources. In general, women's movements are characterized by the focus on developing a group identity. Much of the organization of the Western European women's movements are centered around the development of a women's culture - developing assistance and training programs for women, developing cultural groups such as "women's cabarets and theatres women's art galleries, women's publishing and printing companies.. .and more general groups...women's cafes, women's consciousness-raising groups" (Jenson 1995, p.405). The purpose of developing a women's culture is not to segregate or isolate women from the rest of society. Instead, a women's culture is intended to provide 103 women with an environment in which women can explore, develop, and share their particular interests. Most women's movements develop out of a collective desire to improve the quality of life for women. The focus on certain issues may be stronger than others, for example, Western European women's movements focus a great deal on improving and also maintaining existing citizenship rights that may be affected by agreement developed by the European Economic Community. For Eastern European women's movement the issues focus to a great extent on women's unemployment. In each case, women's movements "have concentrated on winning new state policy or mobilized for cultural change in gender relations" (Jenson 1995, p.412). The movements mobilize to achieve control over decisions affecting women's lives but do not seek political power as a group. Polish women's organizations do wish to achieve a certain degree of autonomy from government and from western feminist organizations in order to develop a women's consciousness that reflects at least some of the values of Polish culture, but at the same time these organizations need to be able to influence government: Women's organization leaders copied this [western model for organizing groups] model. It is why communication is difficult between leaders. One of the reasons I am not involved in the women's movement in Poland is because is too hierarchal. It is better to be involved at the international level.. .Women's consciousness - culture of law. Start with basis of documents. Teach government that women are professional and would know better what needs to be done. Women must be politically active (Lohman(1999). Kinga Lohman is referring to the reports that the government must submit to organizations like the U N to show what they have determined women's situation in 7 Based on my discussion with Kinga Lohman, I have interpreted her use of the term "culture of law" to signify that women's consciousness must include political consciousness and an awareness of the need to utilize legal processes, particularly on an international level, to secure women's rights in Poland. 104 Poland to be and how the government plans to address the issues. I believe that Lohman is promoting autonomy in respect to women participating in drafting policies that will affect them, and women's consciousness in terms of women knowing best what decisions must be made to improve women's situation. The goal is to develop a women's culture that includes a certain degree of autonomy, and that identifies issues and concerns that are specific to women. Also, this type of political activism shows that women groups are working to realize rights and benefits based on the recognition that women are different from men and consequently, must be considered in a different manner. Such activity is identified by Alberto Melucci as "direct action": Since what is at stake is the reappropriation of identity, all mediation is rejected as likely to reproduce the mechanisms of control and manipulation against which the struggle is directed in the first place (1980, p. 220). Within such a culture, women want to establish an identity that is not defined by the Church or the state or their role within the traditional family unit. Yet, women want this identity to be accepted by Polish society; it is not their goal to isolate themselves by developing a subculture. The intent is to develop an identity that recognizes the gender differences but also promotes gender equality. In order to achieve these goals, women need to be politically active. The perspective "that the objective of N S M struggles is autonomy and not power" (Ratner 1994, p.20) does not reflect the development or the goals of the Polish women's movement. Additionally, the structure of women's organizations does not fit the informal model indicated in new social movement theories. In contrast, women's groups become increasingly structured in the third stage. Economic factors continue to have influence in the third stage; the economic situation for most Poles is difficult. Many foreign 105 companies do invest in Poland; however, wages are low while cost of living increases. Companies streamline their structures and lay off many people in the process, meanwhile the Polish government is cash-strapped and eliminates or decreases funding significantly for social programs. For women's organizations, the main task becomes that of securing funding and maintaining the organization. In addition, foundations and agencies funding women's groups often specify how the monies are to be allocated (usually on space and minimal staff). The outcome of this situation is that few women volunteer in organizations; they are either too busy working or looking for work, or want to be paid staff themselves. The membership decreases in the organizations and the focus moves from collective action to more conventional methods of applying pressure on the political structure. The larger women's organizations become formalized: Formalized SMOs engage in fewer disruptive tactics of the sort that pressure government authorities and other elites to make concessions or provide support than do informal SMOs.. .However, the institutionalization of movement tactics by formalized SMOs does not necessarily mean that movement goals become less radical: an alternative interpretation is that movement demands and representatives become incorporated into mainstream politics (Staggenborg 1988, p. 604.) As women's organizations become more formalized, they also begin to develop more conventional means of affecting political decisions. Many of the organizations start to prepare reports and lobby international political bodies. Since the organizations are now formalized and officially registered, they can participate in conferences and discussions set up by the United Nation Commission on Human Rights. In this respect, the women's organizations in Poland are members of the polity on an international level, and based on Tilly's model are contenders who use routine methods to gain political power. 106 Women's organizations are affected by mainstream politics, but it is not the politics of Polish society that has had the most significant influence on the larger women's organizations in this stage. It is the mainstream-politics of the rights-based organizations throughout Eastern and Western Europe - directly related to the United Nations Commission. In fact, by 1995, the discourse of women's issues and rights has changed dramatically. There seems to be a movement away from focusing on women's rights or gender equality rights to universal human rights. Yet, not all of this is related to assimilation into mainstream politics. According to Kinga Lohman, the backlash over the protest against anti-abortion legislation was very strong and put pressure on women's groups to temper their ideological stance and not focus solely on women's rights from a strong feminist perspective (1999). However, i f women's groups move away from feminist ideology towards a more moderate philosophy of universal human rights, then the development of a women's culture and women's identity in Polish culture that acknowledges gender differences may be difficult to achieve. The danger exists in the potential to interpret policies that acknowledge women's rights in terms of human rights in such a manner that subordinate women's rights in relation to the rest of the family. In order for the women's movement in Poland to sustain itself, the values accepted by the women working to develop a woman's consciousness must reflect many o f i l the different values of women involved in the movement as well as the majority of women in Polish society otherwise, the movement may fragment: "Hence, also, the risk of discontinuity and of fragmentation which constantly threatens the new movements (Melucci 1980, p. 221). 107 CHAPTER VI WHAT ARE THE FUTURE POSSIBILITIES FOR THE POLISH WOMEN'S MOVEMENT? The women's movement in Poland has a long history, of which only a small portion is dealt with in this paper. There is much data that could be gathered in terms of the women's organizations in Poland; however, costs, time constraints, and language difficulties limited my research. Nevertheless, the data I was able to collect from primary sources is sufficient to allow me to draw some conclusions about the state of the women's movement in Poland. The women's movement did not develop out of Solidarity. In fact Solidarity served to put women's emerging interest in feminist ideologies "on hold". However, Solidarity did provide some women with the opportunity to become politically active on a small scale, and most important, it contributed significantly to the development of networks between women who became active in the women's movement later. It provided women who were active for the first time with concrete skills: Solidarity activism was an important turning point in the lives of many Polish women. For many, it was their fist major political activity, and their first real experience in organized opposition.. .it was the springboard for a number of women to enter other forms of political or social activism—often in organizational capacities (Long 1996, p. 136-7). Women gained experience in "various types of communication - activities.. .arranging meetings, communications, and provisions" (Long 1996, p. 139). But also important, Solidarity provided women with the opportunity to begin developing a consciousness of themselves as activists and as Polish women. A number of forces affect the women's movement throughout the three stages identified earlier and these are illustrated in the following table. 108 c CD p CD > o S c CD CD X ! -4—* o -4-> a CD a, o > ' a <D X J 1 3 CD O 3 CL) 3 _S3 CO <o o <£ CD on CD O X i -a" CD H 5 CD CU > o CD CD 1/2 CD 6 0 CO 09 CD CD M X5 • H CD T 3 O a3 <u M o <D X 3 H CD CD M X* H O CD O r-CD 53 c CD H >> >-o cu JS H a cu £ <u > o .2 o OO cu o cu JS H o cu PS o CU JS H s . w « O - M CD co CO !-« * ro ro co « o 2 • - £ 3 ^ s « 0 cu -1) s s -fl o S I c > CD • !*• 3 CD 1 &! o 5 S z:.s k > II CD C M O u d « ro S i> I I 1 "o § o 0 0 .-5 c U ( A 2 c o -co ~ CD DO > ~ ro t co - f l & 3 o S g 2 ~ S • 3 3 O ro ^ ^ 4 3 00 X l • M C co o r 3 •~ S ^ ^ o « s " P V? £ > <u x: C O M 3 O ct> .-a 3 o o (30 s <8 X j "TO i CD I CD 13 o Sl . s •a friS 3 03 - M 5 T3 3 M-l CO . 3 3 CD a o Is . „ 3 .3 - ° § - M "33 ^ ro •o o •« S3 £ ra ro j o « c a ^ CD 'S S 00 co CD C <D > ' X i s s <D O ro >> > -s -s • M O - M CD T S &0 CD exoo x> <D X i t—I x i CX jv> co O 3 3 CD O Xi M H I I -5 c 2 o oo o ro S3 i—1 ^ 3 3 O O 00 > CD CD m < M P O O C O -(J ro CD T 3 X i , cx -*> o S S P c ro ro -fj CO O CD ?•, « CD " s « CD *0 ca — o « 3 C/5 CD N C M CD 3 O T3 CD t ; o CD CO S3 O o o X j < X " M 00 co 3 CD e 00 3 ro X CD . CD CD X 60 ^ 3 -«-* 4—> C/) oo CD •S cx " 3 1 6 co 5 •» I i-i ro 2 w '•S ^ - o on Jr. •a « .3 o ' ^ S 3 2 -° * u " ^ Pk - w g 3 ^ a5 3 ^ « s Si) C8 ^3 St cu 32 L f l W (fl <3 CD ro xj ° s * fl £ ^ s z s a c § , . 2 -a sr CD ro •5 > X ! c-i co 1^« o CO 3 O o co CD ro ro N •a U CD M CD c2 X i T3 CD _ N "« CD o 3 CD •fl . 3 ro « 1-. x l ro 3 o <3 M <D .5 -fl ro " 3 ro .-.& ^ o *a a ° C X , CD .S 3 s i CD C X t2 i t CD ^ 1 'S « ro o o ^ t> S fl o ro g "C CD 12 CD ro x i 3 CD s o CD -3 M CD ^ S X! 00 M 00 1-s s -a ts O . 3 _ > 3 ro .5 CD •S ^ ' c 3 3 A S 3 PM x i o PM C M O CD CD 12 -a o o S .S CD 8 co 3 2f .2 .2 a s « s o CQ Qi U 109 The first stage is dominated by a political/cultural force that shaped not only the re-emergence of the women's movement, but Solidarity as well; the women's movement in the latter part of the twentieth century will be forever associated with Solidarity. The goals and ideals of civil society as they were reflected by Poles and which dominated the consciousness of Solidarity, also influenced the consciousness of women at that time. This perspective of civil society is directly related to the moral philosophy that Gramsci has described as essential to the formation of an historical bloc. For centuries, Poles have struggled to preserve the beliefs and values reflected in Polish culture. A perspective that focuses on civil society in Poland must reflect the sense of nationalistic identity that is manifested in Polish culture. Women supported this moral philosophy believing that the promotion of human rights would supersede most of the traditional values attributed to women in Polish society once Poland moved to a democratic system. Eventually, women realized that the concepts of civil society can be interpreted in many ways. For the male leaders of Solidarity, civil society meant a return to traditional perspectives of Polish society, especially in terms of gendered roles in the family, whereas for feminists it signified a society that fulfilled the promises of gender equality that the Communist government had been unable to implement. Women's consciousness was not a very influential force at this stage. The election of the Polish Pope also revived nationalistic ideals that challenged the legitimacy of the Communist government. Women had been studying western feminist theories prior to Solidarity, but once the movement gained momentum, these ideas, for most women, were put on hold and women instead wholeheartedly supported Solidarity. Economic factors also influenced this stage in that the high costs of food triggered the strikes that were the catalyst for the Solidarity movement. Promises had been made 110 by government that new economic policies would be developed to deal with the problems, but the policies were ineffective and ultimately the situation worsened until the strikes at Gdansk began. Women are most active in the second stage of the women's movement. Changes in economic and political structures dominated this stage. The Church, which has significant political influence, triggered collective action and the formation of many women's groups in response to anti-abortion legislation. Women believed that the legislation would have not only eroded women's reproductive rights, but it would adversely affect women's economic rights. Many women chose not to have additional children because they simply could not afford to raise them. Socialized childcare was privatized and most women could not afford the increase in fees, but they could not afford to be unemployed either. These circumstances were aggravated by the fact that contraceptives were very expensive when they were available at all. In addition, the Church forbade the use of contraceptives - women were often uncomfortable even purchasing the contraceptives they could find (Titkow 1999, Walczewska 1999). Ironically, the Church's political involvement in pressuring the drafting of the anti-abortion legislation was the trigger for the collective action and the proliferation of women's groups. The women's movement may not have evolved at all without this crisis, which succeeded in mobilizing women who wanted to protect their rights. In this respect, the anti-abortion legislation was possibly the most important event at this stage of the women's movement. In terms of Tilly's Mobilization Model, interest and organization for women were very high. Even some of those women who were supportive of abortion legislation, were likely concerned about the government move to I l l start restricting women's rights. Women were still very much affected by the sentiments of the new moral philosophy which dominated Polish thinking and women felt a sense of solidarity based in part on the influence of the new moral philosophy, but mainly in terms of interest - the anti-abortion legislation was about to create a major disadvantage for most Polish women. For women, the government, at that point, was seen to be a threat by women in terms of how it used its legislative powers. There was little fear of repression since the political climate would not have supported any huge show of force immediately after the communist regulation of Poland had ended. The social actions did not ensure the success of the women's movement in preventing the anti-abortion bill from being legislated; however, success for the women's movement is evident in the media exposure the actions received which brought the movement to the attention of international bodies. Consequently, women's groups were able to receive much needed support, and initially, guidance. Because women appeared to work cohesively in this stage, consciousness was not a major factor, but its importance was growing. Women's groups formed quickly in response to a specific set of issues and there was little time left for debate on the overall direction of the movement. It is in the third stage that women's consciousness becomes a dominant issue. The structure of the movement changed as women's groups became increasingly professionalized - they established offices with paid staff and focused all their energy and resources on organizational maintenance. In this stage, the only groups that participated in collective action were the Catholic women's groups. The feminist groups 112 were involved in more legitimate forms of activity - namely lobbying of international political bodies. What is problematic at this stage is that, according to the Directory of Polish Women's Organizations and Initiatives, consciousness-raising was intended to be a major objective for most groups (Jagiello 1997). However, the manner in which professionalized women's organizations became structured prevented consciousness-raising activity at the very stage of the movement when it was most important. There is a crisis that has developed in the women's movement according to Dagmara Baraniewska: "The movement is in a crisis. It is small, not visible that much. But women still have a voice" (1999). Dagmara was concerned that women's group were not doing enough to make themselves known to Polish women who were not actively involved in the movement. On the other hand, professionalization of the groups probably facilitated coalitions since organizations had leaders who could delegate activities and stay focused on long-term projects. Smaller organizations continued functioning at the grassroots level but resources were often so scarce that very little consciousness-raising activity took place because of the economic constraints. According to Melucci, an integral characteristic of NSM's is the development of a group identity. However, it appears that women in the movement have been unable to escape the identity constraints established by the dominant, traditional identity assigned to them. This causes a major conflict for women because, while many may not be satisfied with the dominant identity, they cannot reject it without a consciousness of what a new identity should be. Polish women looked to western feminism to provide a basis for a feminist identity. As yet, they have been unable to create an effective alternative identity for women to espouse. 113 Women are marginalized in Polish society but the mechanisms for developing agencies to deal with marginalized people in society are not yet in place. In terms of lobbying international agencies, women are attempting to take direct action over the development of initiatives that are intended to improve the situation of women. Women's groups are indicating that they want input on how initiatives designed to help women are being developed (Limanowska 1999). "Solidarity as an objective" is one of the characteristics Melucci identifies may be evident in the collective action of NSMs. I suspect this characteristic is relatively weak, and without an established group identity as the "focal point of the collective action", the N S M is not likely to be a strong movement. There are coalitions of groups in the Polish women's movement that work together on issues such as reproductive rights, and maintain strong connections with international women's groups and other organizations. These organizations do not have any connection with the average Polish woman. In fact, when I arrived in Poland and discussed my research interests with my cousin, I was surprised to find that she had never heard of most of the organizations listed in the directory. I was unable to find any information advertising the existence of any of the organizations in newspapers - even in the telephone directory there was no such category that I could determine (with my cousin's help) under which these groups could be found. I now suspect the same to be true for most Polish women - that there is very little awareness of these organizations amongst Polish women who are not already involved in some organization or are not personally interested in feminist studies. The economic factors continued to influence the movement - membership in particular has dwindled since few women have had the time or energy to participate in 114 volunteer work after working themselves and caring for their families. Political and cultural forces, particularly the attitudes reflected by the Solidarity leadership were still a dominant factor in the marginalization and exclusion of women from political participation. Women's consciousness has not yet developed even among the women's groups to the extent that it could influence a change in the way of thinking of the rest of Polish society. Lastly, the influence of a particular historical consciousness, a unique sense of sacrifice, unity, and nationalism all intertwined, has permeated all three stages of the movement. If consciousness-raising among women does occur in the future, it will likely be shaped by the historical consciousness of the past. Conclusion Issues of consciousness and cohesion have figured prominently in this study of the women's movement. When I began this study I was looking at number of different approaches to explain how the women's movement evolved. At this stage of the research, I have determined that there are similarities in the conceptualization of consciousness in the various approaches. The Gramscian perspective of consciousness focuses on how a common identity is shaped and shared by different members of a group. This consciousness is developed in terms of a "solidarity of interests" that develop in "relation to political forces" and these interests must be shared by subordinate social groups (Gramsci 1988, p. 203). Polish nationalism provided the basis for this "unity" among social groups in the Solidarity movement. The development of an historical consciousness is also related to political action: "Historical consciousness is not related to retrospective contemplation, but instead draws conclusions from the past and applies 115 them to goals that lie in the future" (Schieder 1978, p.) In terms of Poles' support of Solidarity, the historical consciousness of their past struggles for independence helped create an identity that was equally shared by the workers and the intelligentsia. The development of a women's consciousness can be similarly considered. Women were involved in past struggles for independence and their identity has been shaped by the roles they have historically played in these struggles. It stands to reason then that the development of a modern Polish women's consciousness would draw on women's historical consciousness of past events. Considering the ideological differences between some of the women's groups in the present movement, they still share a similar historical consciousness of women's struggles. Therefore, there is some basis on which a collective women's philosophy could be developed. The concept of social cohesion is central to this thesis. The five dimensions that Jenson developed to measure social cohesion reveal that it is difficult to identify social cohesion in the Polish women's movement. Belonging versus isolation would be determined by the ability of group members to share a sense of belonging in terms of community by being part of the women's movement. Such a sense of community is shared by only a few of the more established women's organizations. Most of the women's groups work independently of one another. The ability of women's organizations to mobilize resources, especially in terms of membership - a wide representation of Polish women - would identify inclusion as opposed to exclusion. In reality, Polish women are not widely represented by the organizations in the movement. Participation versus non-involvement and recognition versus rejection refer to the potential of women to feel that they are truly agents of social 116 change and that there is recognition that the women's movement is making a contribution to Polish society by the whole of Polish society, not just women. However, Polish women to date have had very little influence over decision-making either politically or economically. Women have not held positions of power in either business or politics to the extent where they have been able to initiate changes promoting women's interests. Their lack of political and economic influence is reflected by the indifference of other social groups to women's concerns and the disdain towards feminist issues or feminism in general. Finally, legitimacy versus illegitimacy refers to whether or not the women's movement is legitimized by the support of various government and non-government agencies. Clearly, those government agencies that do exist have not shown any support for women's organizations, which has resulted in two significant outcomes. The first is that women's organizations have formed to provide services and support to women that are usually the domain of government agencies in western models civil society. Secondly, women's organizations have lobbied international agencies such as the U N rather than the Polish government to bring women's issues to the fore. The consequence of both outcomes is that there is no pressure on the Polish political process to develop mediating agencies necessary to a functioning civil society. Ultimately, social cohesion is evident only to a very small extent within the Polish women's movement, and given the current political and economic climate, and the direction and manner in which women's organizations are developing, this situation does not appear likely to change in the near future. 117 To date, there have been several trends emerging within the women's movement in Poland. One is that the split between left and right ideologies, the feminist women's groups, and Catholic women's organizations, including some related groups such as the Women's Section of Solidarity, is opening the door for a new movement to emerge that focuses on universal human rights issues. To some extent, this has already occurred with the proliferation of NGOs. From one perspective, such a movement might create a common ground on which right and left ideological groups can work together. Personally, I think such a scenario is far too optimistic. If a movement centering on human rights issues emerges, the discourse could be interpreted in such a way that, for example, a child's right to live automatically supersedes that of the mother's; this is very similar to the rationalization of the anti-abortion legislation currently in place. The problem is that universal human rights language is too generic, and can be vulnerable to very diverse interpretation. Another problem with the focus on NGOs and the United Nations by women's organizations is that Polish women are providing international bodies with a means to possibly shape Polish society: women's organizations are lobbying the United Nations to pressure the Polish government to amend legislation in order to provide better recognition of gender diversity. According to Kinga Lohman, woman's organizations do not have a lot of confidence in the capability of the Polish political system to deal with women's issues: "Poland is a young democracy. Not just the Party, but administration, but also civil service so there is no political continuity. So [the international] NGOs are actually better trained to deal with women's issues" (1999). However, I believe this lack of direct communication between women's organizations and the government also serves to 118 weaken Poland's political power on an international as well as national scale. Polish women's organizations will not be able to develop the strategies or the skills to deal with the Polish government, and consequently, these organizations may establish a pattern of reliance on foreign agencies to articulate their needs and interests. In this respect, the Polish government is less likely to ever recognize women's organizations as legitimate agencies representing the interests of Polish women since no direct dialogue will have taken place. In addition, women's groups are not effecting the changes themselves but are relying on another political body to effect changes for them - the result could be that they end up with changes they do not want. Another possible scenario is the development of a feminist ideology that is uniquely Polish. In the 1980s, Polish women studying feminist theories embraced the feminist ideology of western culture. According to Ewa Hauser, the acceptance of western perspectives has had both positive and negative effects. The positive outcome has been on the emphasis of gender equality and gender diversity (1993, p. 268). The negative influences are related to the media, cinema, magazines, and syndicated television shows that often "[carry] an antifeminist message, portraying women as sexual objects and glorifying a crude form of'sexual liberation'" (Hauser 1993, p. 268). Yet some women feel that the feminist ideology does not allow them to enjoy being women. In a conversation with one young member of a women's organization, the woman stated she felt pressured by the ideology of the women's movement and the strong emphasis on feminism to "hide" her femininity. From her perspective, most of the women in the movement are so much older that they were incapable of identifying with younger women's goals and perspectives and, in reality, did not represent younger 119 women. For most young women, the most important focus is their education and future employment - they want to be in a position that allows them to be financially independent (Manya 1999). According to Ewa Hauser, the women's movement will have to develop its own brand of feminism that will be influenced to some degree by western feminism, but will have to take into account the historical consciousness which has shaped women's identity in Poland for centuries: We can expect the embryonic Polish feminist movement to be torn between a postmodernist recognition of many different kinds of women's and feminist groups and a pull toward the old essentialist emphasis on unity, an emphasis shared not only by the Communist Party but also by Solidarity and the Catholic Church (1993, p. 269). Such a variation of feminism will be extremely difficult to develop, yet to ignore the historical and cultural influences which continue to have such a strong influence on women's identity would be a grave mistake. Ultimately, a feminist ideology that accepts diversity can only be developed i f women's organizations strive to achieve better cooperation amongst groups than they have in the recent past. Women's organizations will have to make important changes in the near future. Many of the international organizations that presently fund Polish women's groups want to begin focusing their resources on women's organizations in other Eastern European countries. Women's groups will need to develop strategies to raise their own funds which will force women's groups to work together on more issues and share resources. The fragmentation that currently exists between the moderate and the stronger left feminist groups within the women's movement could also be the beginning of the development of a broader feminist ideology - women with different ideological 120 perspectives will have to establish dialogues with their counterparts to enable the movement to progress. 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