What is The Congress of Women Association?
The Congress of Women Association, established in 2009, is the largest social movement in Poland.
As a non-governmental organization, it operates at the national as well as local levels with 35 regional representatives. Its mission is to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women and men in the political, social and economic spheres.
One of its biggest successes was to prepare a citizen’s bill on parity in political elections which was adopted by Parliament in 2011. It adopted a policy of a minimum share of 35% of women candidates. The association has proven its capacity to initiate, coordinate and implement projects, run trainings, programs and organize meetings, seminars and conferences.
Every year the association organizes the Congress of Women with over 20 thematic centers, gathering around 4000- 5000 participants from all regions in Poland and from other countries. The aim of these meetings is to raise awareness, exchange information and best experiences regarding women’s activism
and problems in Poland. They build mutual support, deepen relationships, and have a program-building agenda.
1. We demand legal guarantees to end the pay gap. The financial independence of women is the best guarantee of self-determination; equal pay for equal work is not a privilege, it is our right!
2. We expect real and effective actions to counteract the increasing problem of an en masse departure of women from the labour market. We also demand a responsible social policy which will empower women instead of incapacitating them.
3. We demand the immediate implementation of effective steps to counteract climate change and improve air quality in Poland.
4. We demand the introduction of the zipper system on electoral lists.
5. We demand the introduction of proportional election principles in all elections. Single-mandate district systems practically eliminate women.
6. In accordance with the EU directive, we demand the introduction of 40% quotas for women within management boards, supervisory boards of state and private enterprises.
7. We demand equal rights and opportunities for excluded and discriminated groups, including LGBTQIA people. We demand the legal recognition of civil partnerships.
8. We demand the respectful treatment as well as economic, educational and existential support for people with disabilities.
9. We demand the recognition of the rights of representatives of national minorities, women migrants
10. We demand the equal treatment of girls and boys in education, the elimination of stereotypes and all forms of discrimination in schools. We demand that environmental education, which would shape an ethical attitude towards the environment, be introduced as part of the general curriculum.
11. We demand the protection and strengthening of democratic institutions, independent courts, media, and public administration.