To the Women of America and the World: A Warning and a Rallying Cry From Poland


| 3/6/2017 10:24:00 AM


Tags: A Day Without A Woman, Human Rights, Fascism, Gazeta Wyborcza, Politics,

 Black Monday
Photo courtesy Agnieszka Morcinek / Agencja Gazeta

An international strike of and for the women of the 99%, A Day Without a Woman, will take place on March 8, 2017.

We, the women of Poland, have watched the emergence of the biggest threat to American democracy in the person of Donald Trump with a sickening feeling of familiarity. As we near March 8th, the day of our international strike against the curtailing of women’s rights, we wish to share with you what is at stake, from the perspective of a country where an Alt Right government has been in power for over a year. Dear Women of America and the world, your fears are well founded. But you are not alone.

March 8th will be our second stand against the toxic relationship our current government is trying to force Polish women into. Our first strike was Black Monday, in October of last year, when we flooded the streets under black umbrellas in defense of our reproductive rights. Much like Donald Trump, who on his first day in office imposed the global gag rule on NGOs bringing reproductive support to women, the Polish government began its tenure with an attempt to criminalize the few exceptions to our already rigorous anti-abortion law. We could not and did not allow this proposal to pass.

Since that time, we have seen that a government’s playbook that begins with an attack on women’s rights goes on to write nationalism and the demonization of immigrants into the history books of schoolchildren. We have witnessed that a presidency which begins by passing the reins of a woman’s life into the hands of authorities, goes on to remove protection from endangered natural environments. It has also been our experience that when a man who has been elected to represent an entire nation turns his back on women, he quickly goes on to do the same with the media and the courts. When a bully wields major political power, the consequences are what we see in Poland today — a crippled constitutional court, an education system plunged into chaos, a country smothered in smog, where primeval forests and urban trees are recklessly cut down, where independent media is weakened by economic sanctions and the public media turned into a government propaganda machine. What started with a stab at our reproductive rights has gone on to attack much of what we as a modern society hold dear. These changes took place in Poland very quickly. It may be the same in America.