Polski English Français
Kongres Kobiet
Kongres Kobiet



Shadow Cabinet


The Shadow Cabinet was created on 7th March 2011 by the women who actively participated in the 1st Congress of Women and were engaged in a variety of ways in the political and social life of Poland. The Shadow Cabinet proposes constructive ways alternative to government politics. It is critical of current politics, and comments on and evaluates political life but does not constitute an opposition to the government. The Shadow Cabinet monitors the activities of men and women politicians and brings the areas that are important for women but overlooked by decision-makers to their attention. The Shadow Cabinet consists of women representing various communities and opinions. They are united by the common concern for the continued and stable development of Poland.

On www.youtube.com/KongresKobietTV the Shadow Cabinet members’ statements, speeches, and interviews are available. All the materials uploaded to YouTube by the Congress of Women are available for the media in high audio and video quality. For further information please contact us at media@kongreskobiet.pl.


The list of Shadow Cabinet members:

Prime Minister - Danuta Hübner

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Innovation - Henryka Bochniarz

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development and Internal Affairs - Teresa Kamińska

Minister of Gender Equality and Prevention of Discrimination - Małgorzata Fuszara

Minister of Finance - Maria Pasło-Wiśniewska

Minister of the Treasury - Małgorzata Starczewska-Krzysztoszek

Minister of Education, Science and Sport - Magdalena Środa

Minister of Agriculture - Katarzyna Duczkowska-Małysz

Minister of Labour - Anna Karaszewska

Minister of Health – late Olga Krzyżanowska

Deputy Minister of Health – Wanda Nowicka

Minister of Infrastructure - Solange Olszewska

Minister of Justice - Eleonora Zielińska

Minister of Culture - Kazimiera Szczuka

Minister of Secularity of the State and Multiculturalism - Barbara Labuda

Spokeswoman – Dorota Warakomska


Professor Danuta Hübner (Prime Minister) – the first Polish commissioner in the European Commission, one of the most appreciated economists and policy makers in Poland. She played a significant role in expansion of European Union. Since July 2009 she is a Member of European Parliament and she takes part in works of the European Parliament (she is the chairwoman of Regional Development Commission). She is also a member of Special Committee on Financial, Economical and Social Crisis and Delegation in relation with the United States. In 2004, she became a Commissioner for Regional Policy. 10 years before the nomination, she was assigned important functions in the Polish Parliament: Ministress of European Affairs, Head of the Office of the Committee for European Integration (UKIE), and Secretary of State in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Vice Ministress of Trade and Industry, Minister Head of the Chancellery of the President of Republic of Poland. Between 2000 and 2001 she was United Nations Undersecretary General and Executive Secretary at United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. In 1971 she graduated from Warsaw School of Economics (Central School of Planning and Statistics). In 1974 she was granted a PhD. title. Between 1988-1990 she was a Fulbright scholar at the University of California in Berkeley. In 1992 she received a title of Professor of Economics from the President of the Republic of Poland. She received five honoris causa PhD titles from European universities. Currently a member of the Congress of Women Programme Board.

PhD Henryka Bochniarz (Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation) – Distinguished figure of the economic and social life of Poland. One of the most important voices in the European dialogue on diversity. Former Minister of Industry and Trade (1991) and candidate for the office of the President of Poland (2005). She holds PhD in economics from the School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw and is former Fulbright scholar.  Currently, Vice President of Boeing International. The founder and head of the Confederation Lewiatan, the largest and most prominent confederation of private employers in Poland. Member of the Council of Presidents of BUSINESSEUROPE. Serves as Deputy Chair of the Polish Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and has played an active role in the dialogue between the government, and employer and trade union organizations. The recipient of many awards, including the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and the Andrzej Bączkowski Award in 2003 for her extraordinary contribution to the development of a social dialogue in Poland. She is deeply involved in the arts, having co-funded the “Nike” Literature prize for the best book of the years. An author herself, Bochniarz co-wrote Be Yourself And Win: Ten Hints for an Active Woman with Jacek Santorski. Co-founded the Congress of Women and was one of the originators of Poland’s gender parity law. In 2012, listed among the 50 Most Influential Poles by Wprost magazine.

Teresa Kamińska (Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development and Internal Affairs) - Minister-Coordinator of social reforms and a Member of the Council of Ministers (1997-1999), President of the Health Insurance Authority (1999-2000), Secretary of State in Prime Minister’s Office (2000-2001), since 2004 head of advisors to Jerzy Buzek, MEP. Teresa Kamińska deals with regulations in the energy sector and within the European Research and Innovation Area. Since 2007 she is the CEO of the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone Ltd.

Professor Małgorzata Fuszara (Minister of Gender Equality and Prevention of Discrimination) – principal of the Institute of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw. She works in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of Custom and Law in the Institute of Applied Sciences at the University of Warsaw. She is the head of the Centre for Social-Legal Studies on the Situation of Women and Postgraduate Gender Studies (with Bożena Chołuj). Her academic interests include sociology of law, women studies, gender studies, and national minorities. She taught gender studies in USA (Ann Arbor) and Spain (Oniati). She is a member of three editorial committees: Signs. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, European Journal of Women’s Studies and Societas/Communitas. She is an author of over one hundred articles and chapters of books published in Polish, English, German, Slovak, Bulgarian, Russian, and Romanian. She edited and published two books: Kobiety w Polsce na przełomie wieków. Nowy kontrakt płci? (2002), and Nowy mężczyźni? Zmieniające się modele męskości we współczesnej Polsce (2008). She is a co-author of books: Polskie spory i sądy (2004), Współpraca czy konflikt? Państwo, Unia i kobiety, (2008). She published 3 books: Codzienne konflikty i odświętna sprawiedliwość (1989); Rodzina w sądzie (1994); Kobiety w polityce (2006). She is a member of the Congress of Women Programme Board.

Maria Pasło-Wiśniewska (Minister of Finance) – economist and chairwoman of management at Central European Pharmaceutical Distribution (CEPD) N.V. in Amsterdam. She is also a chairwoman of the Board of Founders of the Polish Institute of Directors, a member of Programme Board of the Institute of Public Affairs, vice President of the management of The «Artes Liberales» Institute Foundation, which functions at the University of Warsaw, a chairwoman of the Supervisory Board at Allianz Bank Poland stock company. She graduated from Kellog School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago. In 1983 she began her work in the National Bank of Poland, where she was in charge of credit issues. Since 1988 she cooperates with Wielkopolski Credit Bank in Poznan. In 1997 she became a president of the Society of Trust Funds "Skarbiec". In 1998 she became a president of the Bank Pekao stock company and cooperated with this bank till September 2003. She was in charge of fusion, privatization, and restructuring of the banks form the Pekao stock company group. In 2005 she was elected to the parliament from the lists of the Civic Platform (PO), Poznan district. She didn’t run in the next elections, which took place in 2007. She was listed among the twenty most influential women in Europe by Wall Street Journal. In 2003 she made it to the Stars of Europe list, which was published by Business Week magazine. She is the author of the book titled Sceny z życia bankowego. She lectures about leadership issues at the University of Warsaw. She is a member of the Congress of Women Programme Board.

Małgorzata Starczewska-Krzysztoszek (Minister of the Treasury) - Member of the Economic council - to the Polish Prime Minister, Chief Economist of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan, Lecturer at the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the University of Warsaw, Member of the Tripartite Commission on social and economic issues.

Professor Magdalena Środa (Minister of Education, Science and Sport) – lecturer at the Ethics Department in the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Warsaw. Her fields of interest include ethics, applied ethics, philosophical ethics, and women issues. She is an author of many books about moral and political philosophy, among them: Idea godności w historii i etyce (1993), Idee, normy i wartości moralne (1994), Historia idei etycznych: starożytność i średniowiecze (1995), Historia idei etycznych: nowożytność i czasy współczesne (1998), Indywidualizm i jego krytycy (2003), Współczesne spory między liberałami, komunitarianami i feministkami na temat podmiotu, wspólnoty i płci (2003), Kobiety i władza (2009), Etyka dla myślących (2010). Since 2003 she is an editor of Ethics magazine and member of the Scientific Board of the Przegląd Filozoficzny. She was a member of the European Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia, member of European Gender for Equality Institute in Vilnius, founder and principal of Postgraduate Studies of Ethics and Philosophy (the University of Warsaw), member of the Ethics Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences, member of the Board of the Public Affairs Institute, and member of Societas/Communitas Board. She received many foreign scholarships and took part in many foreign internships (USA, France, Belgium). She was the Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment of Men and Women of the government formed by Marek Belka. She is also involved in publishing – she is a columnist at Gazeta Wyborcza, Wprost weekly, and Wirtualna Polska internet portal. She is a member of the Congress of Women Programme Board.

Katarzyna Duczkowska-Małysz (Minister of Agricultre) -  Economist, associate professor and habilitated doctor in Economics. In the Department of Market and Competition Analysis at the Warsaw School of Economics and International Business Department at ALMAMER - College of Economics. Wrote over 250 publications in the field of multifunctional development of rural areas, common economic policy of the European Union, local and regional development. Author of the idea of multifunctional development of rural areas. Longtime EU expert in the field of Common Agricultural Policy and Rural Development Policy, regional structural policy of the European Union. Consultant of many regional and local development strategies for the use of EU structural funds. Long-time economic advisor to the President of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, former Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, a longtime member of the Economic and Social Council of the Prime Minister, for many years a member of the Board of the European Rural Development Fund Polish - Counterpart Fund, member of many scientific councils and programme boards; director of many research teams.

Anna Karaszewska (Ministe of Labour) - Anna Karaszewska has over 20 years’ experience working in business and non-profit organisations, including senior management roles in international power industry and consulting companies. Anna joined Ingeus  in  2010, a global leader in helping the long-term unemployed or employees involved in redundancy in transition to the labour market. As CEO she has been playing a key role in establishing public private partnership in the employment services  in Poland.

Since 2011 to 2013, Anna has been President of the board of the Congress of Women Association,  which advocates gender equality and anti-discriminatory policy as well as increasing women’s representation in business and politics.

Late Olga Krzyżanowska (Minister of Health) – politician, social worker and a doctor. She was elected many times to Polish Seym (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 10th terms) and Senate (2nd, 5th, 10th terms). She was also Vice Marshall of Seym. Since 2005 she is a chairwoman of the Association for National Memory (Stowarzyszenie Pamięci Narodowej). She is a member of Batory Foundation board, a member of the Congress of Women Programme Board. She received the Cross of Valor for fighting in the Gray Ranks during the World War II. She started her activity in Solidarity movement in 1980. One year later she became a member of the National Commission for the Coordination of Healthcare. Between 1990 and 1993 she was Polish delegate to the Council of Europe. In the Parliament she focused on foreign affairs and human rights (including the rights of women). In 1999 she was one of the signatories of proposal for appointing the Committee for Equal Status of Men and Women in Seym, which was unfortunately rejected. In 2001 she proposed the first project of legal act considering fixed quotas for each gender on electoral lists (30%), which was consequently rejected by Seym. She significantly influenced the process of quota legal act passage in Seym in 2010.

Solange Olszewska (Minister of Infrastructure) – chairwoman and co-owner of the company Solaris Bus & Coach Stock Corporation, where she works since 1995. She graduated from the Dentistry Department at the Medical University of Warsaw. Between 1986 and 1994 she worked at the Children’s Dentistry Department Freie Universität Berlin. Later, she got engaged in business activity. She is a co-founder of Polish German Medical Association with the seat in Berlin. For years she has been engaged in Polish German cooperation in the fields of economics and culture. She is also involved in charity. In 1997 she took part in helping the victims of flood in Southern Poland. Since 1998 she cooperates with MONAR Association. Moreover, she is also active in the field of animal care. In 1999, in recognition for her social activity in Poland and Germany she received the Gold Cross of Merit form the President of the Republic of Poland.


PhD Kazimiera Szczuka (Minister of Culture) – historian and literary critic. She is a student of Professor Maria Janion, and Gender Studies lecturer at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Directing Department of the Theatre Academy in Warsaw. She held literary seminar in Jacek Kuroń Multicultural Humanist High School. She is a co-founder of the 8th March Women Agreement. She was a co-founder and co-organizer of the first Manifa – 8th March manifestations in Warsaw. She is a member and founder of Greens 2004, a political party. Currently she is associated with Krytyka Polityczna, and Feminoteka Foundation. She is a member of the Congress of Women Programme Board. She was a TV presenter in programmes: Dobre Książki, Pegaz, Wydanie Drugie Poprawione, and Najsłabsze ogniwo. She also worked in radio. She published in magazines and newspapers: Teksty Drugie, Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka, and Krytyka Polityczna. She is an author of books: Kopciuszek, Frankenstein i inne (2001) and Milczenie owieczek (2004). In her fist book she exposes the stereotypes which are very present in social life. In the second book she writes about social, cultural and political conditions of limiting the reproductive rights of women in Poland.

PhD Barbara Labuda (Minister of Secularity of the State and Multiculturalism) – Romanic philology at the University of Wrocław graduate. Between 1970 and 1973 she lived in Paris where she studied history of literature and political and social science. Since 1973 she works at the University of Wrocław. She is an author of many scientific and political publications (articles, essays, translations). In the 70s she was a member of antitotalitarian opposition associated with Workers’ Defense Committee (KOR) and since 1980 – with the Solidarity movement. She was arrested in 1982 by the Security Service (SB) and sentenced for political activity to 1,5 years in prison. She was released form prison in 1983 as a result of amnesty for political prisoners. Between 1989 and 1997 she was a Member of Polish Seym and co-founder of Democratic Union (later called the Freedom Union). She was a founder of Parliamentary Group of Women and a member of the Seym Commission of Culture, Mass Media and Foreign Affairs. She is an author of the legal act abolishing censorship, which lasted in Poland for 45 years. She devoted her parliamentary work to defending the rights of minorities, aggression, and drug addiction prevention. Between 1996 and 2005 she was the Secretary of State at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, where she was in charge of the Office for Social Affairs, Culture and Cooperation with Non-governmental Organizations. Between 2005 and 2010 she was the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. She received the Legion of Honour from the President of France for her work on the field of human rights, cultural and political activity. She is a member of the Congress of Women Programme Board.