Berlin, 12th Oct 2016

The official press release by Dziewuchy Dziewuchom Berlin regarding the nationwide women’s strike organized on the 3rd October 2016 and the upcoming strike scheduled in Berlin for the 23rd October 2016 in support of the strike organised in Poland and scheduled for the 24th October 2016.

The organization Dziewuchy Dziewuchom Berlin has been following the situation of women in Poland with concern.

Modelled after the strike in Iceland from 41 years ago, when women paralyzed their country, there was a nationwide warning strike against the new anti-abortion law organized on the 3rd October 2016 in Poland and supported worldwide. Thousands of women opposing a total ban on abortion went on the streets.

The demand of the protesters was to immediately cease the parliamentary work on the barbaric and outrageous abortion law.

On the day of the protest many companies in Poland were temporarily closed with female workers given the day off or having taken a leave upon request. Lecturers at universities let their female students out from classes, mothers declared not to sent their daughters to school, all to enhance women of every age to participate in the protests. Women on this day did not do any housework. Many men stood up for the case and reinforced the protests.

The protests were also supported by important public figures, including the actress Krystyna Janda, the major of Częstochowa Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk, Marta Kaczyńska, the model Anja Rubik, the actress Maja Ostaszewska, the actress Juliette Binoche, the film director Małgorzata Szumowska, and the singer Rita Ora.

According to the police statistics, nearly 100.000 people attended the protests across the country. The biggest strike abroad was organized in Berlin with over 2.000 participants. Strikes took also place in London, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm, Australia and Barcelona.

Before and after the protest some negative comments by people involved in political and media discourse have appeared:

Witold Waszczykowski, Minister of Foreign Affairs: – “Let them play” – that’s how Foreign Minister on RMF FM radio commented on women’s actions directed against tighter restrictions on abortion. – “Women’s rights are not being undermined in Poland.”

Tomasz Terlikowski, columnist- “For the participants of the black protest I do have a graceful outfit for tomorrow” – said the caption under a picture of a Nazi uniform posted by him. “Those who used to wear them also believed that the stronger has a right to kill the weaker.”

On the 23rd September 2016 citizens’ initiative “Stop abortion” gained support of 267 MPs, who voted against its rejection during the bill first reading. They were 230 Law and Justice’ deputies, 4 Civic Platform’s deputies, 20 Kukiz15’s deputies, 8 Polish People Party’s deputies, 2 Free and

Solidary’s deputies, and 3 independent members of parliament.

Following the protest, on the 6th October the lower house of the Polish parliament rejected the bill completely prohibiting abortion prepared by Ordo Iuris. 186 Law and Justice’ deputies, 115 Civic Platform’s deputies, 14 Kukiz15’s deputies, 29 Modern’s deputies, 2 Polish People Party’s deputies, 4 European Democrats’ deputies, and 2 Free and Solidary’s deputies voted against the bill.

6th October 2016:
As an alternative to the citizens’ initiative the prime minister Beata Szydło announced at the plenary hall the three Government’s commitments to help parents of sick children:
“By the end of the year we will prepare a program that will be presented to the Upper House, a supporting program for families and mothers who choose to give birth and bring up children despite so-called difficult pregnancies.”

11 October 2016:
National Commission of the Independent Self-governing Trade Union “Solidarity” notified the District Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk that the organisers of protest in Warsaw used the union’s logo illegally. Spokeswoman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Gdańsk Tatiana Paszkiewicz told Polish Press Agency that the “Solidarity’s” notice refers to an “unauthorized use of the word- figurative trademark”. Some women, who went on the streets on the 3rd October, understood the action of “Solidarity” as an attempt to intimidate them. Over 4.000 of people from Poland and Germany or the United Sates reported themselves as the ones who organized the protests.

12 October 2016:
“Law and Justice will conduct the work on amending the law on abortion” – said the party’s chairman, Jarosław Kaczynski, during the interview published by the Polish Press Agency – “We will strive to ensure that even cases of very difficult pregnancies, when the child is certain to die, very deformed, still end up in a birth, so that the child can be baptized, buried, have a name.”

Parliamentary majority still plans to enact severe anti-abortion law, while the degree of privilege of the Catholic Church and its influence on constituting of law in Poland continues to grow. The educational system in Poland also is deteriorating and has to cope with the increasing level of indoctrination.

That’s why we are saying “NO!”



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