english version below
Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom
17 kwietnia 2016 r. poszło z nami ponad 3,500 osób podczas Ogólnopolskiego marszu przeciwko zaostrzeniu prawa aborcyjnego. Był to pierwszy tak liczny protest w Łodzi po strajkach włókniarek w 1971 r.
Marsz przeszedł, ale Łódzkie Dziewuchy idą dalej! Jako część ogólnopolskiego ruchu Dziewuchy Dziewuchom, wyrażamy zdecydowany sprzeciw wobec zaostrzenia prawa aborcyjnego. Podobnie jak znaczna część środowiska lekarskiego i prawniczego obawiamy się, że całkowity zakaz aborcji będzie miał tragiczne skutki dla zdrowia i życia KAŻDEJ KOBIETY w Polsce. Zamiast karać i skazywać na cierpienie, my proponujemy edukację i podnoszenie świadomości.
Przypominamy, że prawo do decydowania o sobie jest prawem podstawowym każdej kobiety. Określamy to krótko: JESTEM. MYŚLĘ. DECYDUJĘ.
Początkowo zakładałyśmy, że sensem naszego istnienia będzie uzyskanie wiążącej deklaracji od strony rządowej i posłów o wycofaniu się z zaostrzenia ustawy aborcyjnej. I choć nadal czekamy na czytelny przekaz w tej sprawie, to jednocześnie widzimy potrzebę prowadzenia szerokich działań edukacyjnych, kształtujących świadomość kobiet i mężczyzn. Działamy w sposób, który pozwala nam jednoczyć osoby i środowiska do tej pory niezainteresowane tymi kwestiami. Okazało się, że dotyczą one nas wszystkich – naszych sióstr, kuzynek, córek, koleżanek z pracy, przyjaciółek, mam… Z otwartością przyjmujemy osoby, które chcą zaangażować się w działania Dziewuch. Zapraszamy do kontaktu niezależnie od płci, wieku i wyznania.
Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom is newly registered NGO (In 2018) that has two years of experience in operation at the public, political and media level.
Please note, that the impact we generate is not only accredited to us and we always make sure that people involved in our collective actions are granted recognition.
We have proven track of success in the public activism in the below key matters:
- We are politically, and successfully involved in the legislative processes regarding Abortion Law
- We have organized two major marches in Łódź – a city heavily underrepresented by national media and parliamentary politicians, despite being third biggest city in Poland. First In April 2016 – a protest march that collected 3.5 k people in the defence of women’s reproductive rights and in October 2016 – march to which nearly up to 10 k people wearing black clothes attended.
- These marches where the biggest in Lodz since female textile workers’ protests in 1971 and Hunger March organised by women in 1981.
- The outcome of the collective actions in Lodz and other cities as of October 2016, after mass “black protests”, we were invited by Terry Reintke, MEP (Germany) – from European Green Party, to the Strasbourg European Parliament for the debate on Polish women situation.
- After the protests and lobbying for women’s rights on local, national and the EU level as a reaction to ignorance to “Save the Women” bill – the government decided to also stop further proceedings of the anti-choice bill proposal in 2016.
- As widely recognized activist group in Polish pro-choice politicians and organisations, in 2017, members of Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom became a part of the “Save the Women” Committee 2 (2017), proposed legal amendments to the previous one and collected majority of signatures in public for favour of the bill proposal.
- Our other activities to support feminism and equality in Poland and beyond:
We organized actions that made an actual impact on women on local and national, and also international level:
- Feminist Platforms – the open debates that have a tremendous impact, as women get courageous to speak up about their personal lives – even abortions, often for the first time in their life. It is especially important for younger women present in such events, which do not have yet the courage to speak up.
- By organizing “Revolutionary Feminist Cinema” we raise awareness of the women-centred cinema, which is dismissed and unrecognized by the conventional cinemas.
- Received praises during European Ideas Lab in Brussels in 2017 and 2018 though organising our workshops – we gained recognition, network with MEPs politicians and lobby successfully about disturbing situation of women in Poland
- Circles of silence – despite initially to be a local action, through our campaign on social and conventional media, it became a nationally-spread action in many major cities in Poland showing the scale of the recognition in the public regarding rape problem.
- We are heavily engaged in the organization of the Xth Congress of Women, this year in Lodz – we will have Feminist Platform as an opening event on the 2nd day of the Congress and two of us are coordinators of Maternity Center and Education Center with panel debates and complementary workshops.
- Our projects were granted funds already, however, much smaller. We are experienced in ensuring that all objectives that are stated in our project are met and funds spent well accordingly to what we have planned
- With co-funding from Deloitte Digital Group Inc., we organized two workshops of WenDo so that around 30 women could attend a weekend sessions for free, which are often too costly to attend to my majority of women in Poland.
- With use of Wemove.EU funds we have organized I Forum of Dziewuchy Dziewuchom, a first of its kind for our social feminist movement. Up to 30 feminist activist could come to Lodz from many cities from Poland and Europe – so we could all finally meet in person to plan future actions and strategy.
- Our Awards and Nominations:
- Granted a statue by Federation for Women and Family Planning for women’s rights activism
- Nominated for Polish Business Board J. Wejchert Price for social impact success
- Nominated for “Glasses for Equality” by Foundation of Jaruga Nowacka, for Women’s rights and counteracting gender-based discrimination
- Granted “White Ribbon” Price from Center of Women Rights by our member, Kuba Kobyliński – for supporting and high personal involvement in undertaking initiatives for women rights.
- We became omnipresent in the national and international media.
Due our efficient voluntary teamwork and also importance by itself of the women’s rights matters in Poland recognized in media, with support of many organisations at the local and international level.
We use out connections and social-networking skills in order to bring the topic of Polish Women situation, and the above are just examples of our attempts in making such difficult task to become successful. Below, we listed an exemplary links to publications’ on international media as we believe it would give the picture of our reach capacity:
- “Get laud and active”. Martin Wassermair, Dorf.TV, AUSTRIA – an interview with Kat (Katarzyna) Iwaniuk and Alex (Aleksandra) Knapik during European Ideas Lab in Brussels, Belgium (3-5th February), published on the International Women’s Day, 8th March 2016: https://dorftv.at/video/26721
- “Bad Ass Polish Women Fight Back Against Anti-Choice Legislation”. Brooke Tomlinson, Medium.com, UNITED STATES – an interview with Aleksandra Knapik, Ocrober 3rd, 2016: https://medium.com/@brooketomlinson/bad-ass-polish-women-fight-back-against-anti-choice-legislation-8f205499ae0f
- ” 7 Polish Women Who Fought for Abortion Rights Offer Advice to American Women Doing the Same” – Aleksandra Knapik for NYMag for International Women Day – March 7, 2017 https://www.thecut.com/2017/03/black-monday-day-without-women-abortion-strike.html
- “Martes negro, el día en que las polacas detienen el país”. Mary Lara Salvatierra, Tribuna Feminista, SPAIN – Aleksandra Knapik opinion published on 5th Otober 2017: http://www.tribunafeminista.org/2017/10/martes-negro-el-dia-en-que-las-polacas-detienen-el-pais/
- “Culture and disobedience in post-democratic societies”. Martin Wassermair, Dorf.TV & Channel Raumschiff, AUSTRIA – an interview with Kat (Katarzyna) Iwaniuk, recorded on 14th December 2017 and published on 20th December 2017: https://dorftv.at/video/28485
- “50 ans après Mai 68, les nouveaux combats de l’émancipation”. Isabelle Labeyrie, Radio France, FRANCE – an interview with Marta Szymczyk, published on 8th March 2018: https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/droits-des-femmes/50-ans-apres-mai-68-les-nouveaux-combats-de-l-emancipation-marta-szymczyk-milite-pour-le-droit-a-lavortement-en-pologne_2646846.html
- “La revolución de los paraguas y la construcción de un futuro feminista”. Mary Lara Salvatierra, Tribuna Feminista, SPAIN – interview, among others, Marta Szymczyk, on 15th March 2018: https://tribunafeminista.elplural.com/2018/03/la-revolucion-de-los-paraguas-y-la-construccion-de-un-futuro-feminista/?amp_markup=1&__twitter_impression=true
- “Féminismes en lutte”, La Revue nouvelle, nr. 2/2018, BELGIUM. Editors with contributions of: Gals4Gals Lodz [Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom], Paola Stévenne, Laure nce rosier, Anne Lemonne and Christophe Mincke, Véronique Nahoum-Grappe. http://www.revuenouvelle.be/Feminismes-de-lutte
We are well recognized in Poland and Europe for efficient activist work and involvement.
We have received an official recommendations by organizations.
JANUARY – DECEMBER 2017
3-5th of February
European Ideas Lab – Greens Meet Changemakers.
Łódzkie Dziewuchy took part in European Ideas Lab – Meet Changemakers: a forum where activists and Greens from all over Europe engage in a professionally facilitated and neutral space to share ideas, experiences and knowledge, connect struggles get inspired, network and work cooperatively on common campaigns. We provided a workshop by Gosia Wochowska in cooperation with Georgia Tsaklanganos, European Green member who is an expert on women rights and gender equality. The workshop was called: “Girls Just ‘Wanna Have FUN…damental Rights!”, to present how social norms and legislation affect each other in the EU.
18-19th of February and 25-26th of February
Two editions of WenDo workshop sessions – free of charge for participating women.
Typical market price per person for such workshop – 100-300 PLN (20-60 GBP)
Organized and managed by Łódzkie Dziewuchy – 2 editions that allowed to train up to 30 women free of charge. Such workshops, teaching assertiveness and showing how to oppose violence are very important for women in Poland, where there is no anti-violence education, and girls are not taught to say „no” when they mean “no”, along with self-defence techniques and empowerment techniques. Workshops were funded by Deloitte Digital Poland and project fulfilled with work of ours, Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom.
Three Feminist Platforms (also known as Feminist Hyde parks):
8th of March, 29th September and 3rd October 2017
It’s a form of a workshop, but held in a public space such as a cafe, with very informal atmosphere which allows to share personal stories and connect better between present generations; the benchmarks are: giving floor to experts and activists who work on very diverse women’s' issues – they first make presentations of 15 minutes which stimulate the debate (hydepark) that follows; during Hyde-park, we encourage the public to freely express themselves, to share their comments and experiences. We want women to feel more empowered, to take floor and not be afraid to speak up. We give preference to women’s voices because in our political debates they are mostly ignored. In 2016, we organized first three (I, II and III) Feminist Platforms; in 2017 we organized another three of them, as follows:
IV: March 8th International Women Day: topics: Hate Speech – why is it so difficult to talk about refugees (focused on female refugees, connected with collection of cosmetics and hygiene products for female refugees from Refugee Camp in Grotniki; „Glass ceilings, sticky floors – of women, science and power”, „Mobbing and sexual harassment at workplace in Poland”
V: Feminism and new grassroots movements in Poland – during I Forum for Regions Dziewuchy Dziewuchom movement held in Lodz – 29th September
VI: Black Tuesday – Fight for women rights are not over! – on the anniversary of Black Monday, October 3rd, combined with collection of signatures under Save the Women 2017 project
Meeting with delegates of European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM): Terry Reintke (European Greens, Germany), Maria Arena ( S&D Belgium), Malin Bjork (GUE/NGL, Sweden), Daniela Aiuto (EFDD, Itlay). Delegates were in Poland for three days, meeting with representatives of government, Parliament, experts, and organizations and movements fighting for women* rights, to get to know their perspective on current situation in Poland and confront it with official, governmental presentation,
March for Mothers on Mothers' Day
We organized March to raise awareness of problems that women face as parents in everyday life in Poland. We presented postulates, which were elaborated by mothers and cooperated with many organizations. Our Postulates were carefully debated and agreed with attending local women and mothers:
Effective enforcement of alimony law
Application and monitoring of perinatal care standards
Equal opportunities for a place in a nursery and kindergarten adapted to the needs of working parents
Real financial and medical help for families affected by disability
Immediate implementation of the Istanbul Convention and protection of victims of domestic violence
Urban space adapted to the needs of parents and children
Motherhood by choice (reproductive rights, LGBT parenting)
2nd of June
European Queer Greens at the 2017 Warsaw Pride – we were invited by European Green Gender Network to participate in a meeting to share good practices on acting in civic movements. Politicians and activists from the network wanted to hear about situation of women in Poland and how new grassroots movements operate. After the meeting we took part in Warsaw Pride on June 4th.
24th of June
112 anniversary of Lodz Uprising in 1905 – it’s a celebration in a form of march with live singing of revolutionary songs by professional choirs and drama scenes played on the streets by CHOREA Theater. In 2017 it was focused on roles of women during Lodz Uprising and Łódzkie Dziewuchy were an official partner of this celebration.
24th of July
Save the Women Committee 2
As an answer to Stop Abortion Project, Barbara Nowacka has reactivated Save the Women Committee and updated the bill proposal of new aspects of reproduction rights, that were attacked by the government – e.g. bringing back emergency contraception to be OTC instead of an RX drug, regulate consciousness clause, ban manifestations with graphic content of post-abortion foetuses in front of school, hospitals and churches. Members of Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom were invited to participate in works on the bill. Four of us: Katarzyna Iwaniuk, Magdalena Gałkiewicz, Aleksandra Knapik i Agata Kobylińska became official members of the Committee, necessary to register it. Agata Kobylinska became a coordinator of signatures collection for Lodz. Out of 400 000 signatures in total, 30 000 were collected in Lodzkie voivodeship.
13-16th of July
Ideas Lab organized by Polish Greens and Heinricha Böll Foundation
We performed a workshop on how fight for women rights activates women for political engagement. We also took part in „Green networking” with representatives of Green European Foundation, Green European Journal, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Green Economics Institute (UK), Green House (UK), Green Party of Poland, Green Party of England and Wales, Ukrainian Green Party, Save the Rivers Coalition, Congress of City Movements, RT-ON Foundation, Bankwatch network.
14 – 21st of July
An international Festival of film and music – 2017 theme was „Women strength”. Lódzkie Dziewuchy organized two workshops under the common title: „Chatter on pillows”, which took place at the Schiller Passage in a relaxing atmosphere of sitting on beds and white bed clothes.
„How to raise a Wonder Woman?” – Talks about how to raise wise, but sensitive children, how to talk with them to achieve the intended educational goals. At the same time, there was a mini-workshop with the basics of voice emission, prepared by professional singer, Anna Natalia Guhs – of how one can care of their and their child’s voice. The subject of violence was also discussed, what is and how to defend children against it.
Workshop „We are all Gals” was organized for people aged 50+; talks with other activists aged above 50 and others, who work with people 50+; focussed on their lives matters and activities. The aim of the workshop was, among others, to show that seniors in Lodz develop their passions and enjoy the new experiences while also working for other people.
In addition, as part of the festival, Łódźkie Dziewuchy organised a special screening of the movie „Divine Order” (Die göttliche Ordnung / Divine Order), giving substantive matronage. After the film, they led the audience to discuss why women’s solidarity is so important in the fight for their rights.
16 – 25th of July
Protests to support Constitutional Tribunal
Łódzkie Dziewuchy took active part in the protests which took place in response to the government’s actions aimed at subordinating the entire Polish judiciary. Despite the nationwide demonstration, the constitution was broken, and the Constitutional Tribunal and courts subordinated to the rulers.
24th – 27th August
Summer Ecologists organized by French and European Greens took place during the Summer University organized in Dunkirk. A member of Łódzkie Dziewuchy, Małgorzata Wochowska, had a speech about the evolution of the feminist movements in Poland, from big cities (protests in 2016) to small towns (protests in 2017) – due to numerous „reforms” and changes of the law carried out by the Law and Justice, a ruling party in the government: annihilation of the Constitutional Tribunal, ingeneration in Białowieża Forest, seizure of courts and the National Council of the Judiciary.
30th of August
The “Circle of Silence”. Initiated by Łódzkie Dziewuchy, was organized as a silent protest against the culture of rape, violence and the victim-blaming, as a reaction to death case of rape that took place in Lodz. Monika, a 26 years-old woman was imprisoned by three in the private apartment for 10 days, raped and tortured – she escaped, but after a month of hospitalisation – she died due to her fatal injuries.
Similar actions were held in other cities to show solidarity to Lodz by other local Dziewuchy’s and Women’s Strike activists’ groups – in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Kraków, Wrocław, Toruń, Poznań and Rzeszów, organized by Warszawskie, Trójmiejskie and Toruń Dziewuchy Dziewuchom, OSK Poznań. Other organizers: „In our case”, Iwona Demko, Robert Reisigová-Kielawski from Association for Women “Victoria”.
6th of September
The meeting of Polish and Afghan women’s organizations in which we took part. It was organized by the following associations: Active Women, Feminoteka Foundation, Women’s Treaty of 8 March, Young Women for Social Change and Shuhada Women Empowered. The documentary “Sisters” was played, directed by the Active Women Association. The documentary, whose heroines are three sisters (Gaisu, Zohra and Parastu), shows the combination of east and west culture during social change, the fight for women’s freedom in Afghanistan, access to education, knowledge and power. Meeting with Afghan activists and activists allowed for the exchange of experiences, discussion, creating a relationship based on solidarity and the sisterhood of women.
9 – 10th September
The IX Congress of Women.
The Congress took place in Poznan under the the notion of „Alert for women’s rights” – in one of the panellist in the session „We do not fold our umbrellas” [black umbrella as a symbol of resistance during black protests] was Agata Kobylińska, our member. The conversation concerned the wave of feminism that started in 2016. Panellists spoke about the movement of Dziewuch and OSK, how cooperation in such organizations looks like, how feminism has changed over the last year. The subject of women in politics was also discussed – the participating feminist pressured that their presence in both local government and national authorities is necessary to bring adequate changes in the law and society for women.
29th September – 1st October
I Forum of Regions Dziewuchy Dziewuchom. Łódzkie Dziewuchy organized the I Forum of Regions Dziewuchy Dziewuch that took place in Lodz and covered three days of workshop activities, panels and debates about the identity and future strategy of Dziewchy Dziewuchom movement. Regional activists from various cities as well as from abroad came and were provided catering as well as hotel and travel costs reimbursed to ensure that everyone can attend regardless of their economic situation, with use of Wemove.EU funds that Lódzkie Dziewuchy, an organizer, were granted. The networking value of this event allowed co-operating up until today, exchange of experiences of experts invited to the panels was and still is invaluable as it provided grounds for the current, well-structured co-operation.
27 – 28th October
European Ideas Lab in Dublin was another event from the Greens meet Changemakers cycle organized by The Greens / European Free Alliance to create a friendly space for activists to exchange ideas, experiences and knowledge. Magda Gałkiewicz (Łódzka Dziewucha) and Ania Głogowska-Balcerzak (Łódź Women’s Rights Center) in the panel Get To know each other, Changemakers presentations talked about the Black Protest and Łódzkie Dziewuchy.
“The Live Library”. Held in the Mark Edelman’s Center of Dialogue, where two activists from Łódzkie Dziewuchy acted as “live books” to be borrowed and spoke to about any topics to anyone who is curious to lend and to talk to: Jakub Kobyliński, as a feminist and Kasia Gauza, as a transgender. The “Live Library” is an educational method and an international movement for human rights and a diverse society that uses a simple method of meeting and talking to oppose prejudices and discrimination.
Marathon of Writing Letters of Amnesty International – Lodz co-organized by EduKABE Creative Solutions Foundation and Łódzkie Dziewuchy, as part of the International Day of Human Rights on 10 December. The Marathon managed to collect over 350 letters – appeals to authorities and letters of solidarity to people whose rights they are broken. Almost 309 thousand were written in Poland.
Also, Łódzkie Dziewuchy undertook many charity activities – in 2017 they were able to organize a collection of cosmetics and hygiene products for women and girls staying in refugee centers in Poland – „Refugees for Women’s Day”.