3rd, European, Congress of Women (2011)
On September 17th and 18th 2011, we met in the Palace of Culture and Science for the third time. During the two days over 7000 women from all over Poland debated on the most important challenges for contemporary Poland and the world. Many foreign guests visited the Congress, including: Viviane Reding – a European politician deeply engaged in the problems of women and equal status; Professor Ann Snitow – the icon of American feminism; Constance Morella and Path Shroeder – US Congresswomen; Brigitte Grésy – French Inspector General for Social Affairs. Some of the Polish dignitaries also could not miss the event: Henryka Bochniarz, Jolanta Fedak, Małgorzata Fuszara, Danuta Huebner, Henryka Krzywonos, Jolanta Kwaśniewska and a special guest – the 1st Lady of Poland Anna Komorowska took a lively part. There were also many men, including Europe’s first feminist, President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek; Prime Minister Donald Tusk who handed the Award of the 3rd Congress of Women to Olga Krzyżanowska; Ludwik Sobolewski and the President of Warsaw Stock Exchange who officially opened the business panel on the second day of the Congress.
The 3rd Congress of Women was not only visited by significant people, but more importantly was filled with relevant discussions over politics, economy, labour, rights, and solidarity. Thirty workshops and presentationswere organised on many crutial topics, such as women in the army, equal parenting, the feminisation of family care, sexual education, and women's entrepreneurship in rural areas. As part of the seminar on Diversity, Effectiveness, and Success, 6 parallel sessions were held at the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The important event, which was also a part of Polish presidency in the EU, was the Round Table of European Ministers of Equality, which took place on the second day of the Congress with the motto "Europe is a woman!".
3rd Congress of Women formulated postulates in three priority areas: equality, freedom, and solidarity, and the subjects tackled within them included a “zipper” system on the electoral lists; 40% of women on managerial positions and in corporate supervisory boards; equal pay for men and women holding the same level positions; prevention of violence against women; state support for dependents; support of women on the labour market (especially for women from the 50+ group and those entering the market with little inter-generational solidarity).