Time for mom

"We say goodbye to Polish Mother - declining motherhood" Congress of Women 2012


The Congress of Women was established in June 2009 as a social movement, activating women in Poland socially and politically, on the 20th anniversary of political and economic transformation in Poland. It was aimed at highlighting the huge participation of women in socio-economic changes, emphasizing their role in building modern Poland, as well as diagnosing their current situation and outlining directions of changes.

Currently, the Congress of Women is a social initiative bringing together individuals, non-governmental organizations, representatives of business, politics, the world of science, art, journalism, trade unions, employers' associations and many more. Congress brings together women from all over Poland, with different views, coming from different backgrounds. He is not affiliated with any institution or political party.

Already on Friday, September 14, the Fourth Congress of Women begins. The program can be found here. We decided to contact the caretakers of one of the panel "We say goodbye to Polish mother: untying motherhood" and ask some questions. Agnieszka Graff and Elżbieta Korolczuk, panel babysitters, answer our questions.

Sosrodzice.pl: Polish mother, ekomama or business mom? Whom do we say goodbye and who we welcome?

We say goodbye to Polish Mother as a myth and stereotype, which ordered women to take responsibility not only for all the work related to childbirth and upbringing, but also for the well-being of the family or nation.

We welcome not eco-mom or business mother, but thinking about caring (not only about our own children, however, it is also about foster care and the wider problem of caring for dependents), as something that has value, which we all need and for which everyone - not only men and women, but also the state - they should take responsibility. And whether parents want to be eco or work in business is of the least importance.

What lies must a modern woman face?

They can be exchanged for a long time:
that if she has no children, she is not a full woman,
that if she has children, she is not a valuable worker and citizen,
that if he is breastfeeding too short, he is hurting him,
that if he is breastfeeding too long, he is hurting him,
and if he feeds the bottle he is a monster at all,
that it would be best for the child if he stayed at home for many years, giving up his own aspirations
that she should take care of her alone, because men are not suitable for looking after children, so dad can at most "help",

that if she can't afford expensive and time-consuming educational measures, she is a bad mother and should not have children,
that having children is an individual matter and a good mother will not bother others, and certainly will not demand state support ...

What topics will be raised on the panel?

All of the above - what / who is Polish Mother? How was and is it used politically? What myths about motherhood and femininity are contemporary women struggling with? What are the experiences of women who have children and those who don't have them? And what can we do about it?

We can say that we have two main subjects. First, we want to discuss social picture of motherhood - idealization, ideologization, neoliberal and traditional patterns. Elżbieta, who is the editor of a new anthology on the subject of social realities and myths about motherhood, will tell you why "Polish Mother" is leaving - why this myth went bankrupt as a model for Polish women.

And another important voice: Joanna Woźniczko-Czeczott - the author of the famous book 'Maternity non fiction. Home Revolution Report ", which ridicules the current media discourse idealizing motherhood. The second topic is: motherhood and social status - poverty, exclusion, necessity of migration. Dr. Sylwia Urbańska - an adjunct at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Warsaw, who also works with the Feminist Think Tank, will talk about how poverty affects motherhood. Sylwia researches, among others labor migration of mothers, she analyzed the process of becoming a distant mother in the biographies of Polish migrant women from 1989-2009.

Maria Berlińska, Vice President of the Mazovian Foster Families Foundation will speak last - she will talk about experiences of foster families: their social stigma and their struggle with institutions that should help them.

Really ladies say it could be better? In the world ranking we occupy 208 position in 228 classified countries in terms of the number of children born per 100 women between the ages of 15 and 49. Poland is becoming depopulated ...

It may be better, but there will be no changes in the state's social policy. The fact that more children are born in Sweden or France does not stem from the fact that Swedes or French simply like children more for Poles than Poles.

In Poland, many people who want to have children do not decide to parenthood because of the lack of stable employment, affordable housing, the lack of places in nurseries and kindergartens, and the huge costs associated with raising a child (an example is the cost of school layette today it often exceeds PLN 500 per child). Sociological studies show that many people in Poland recognize that they cannot afford a child at all or another child - and until they can afford it, they will simply not have children.

How can you help Polish women reconcile the role of mother and employee?

Nurseries and kindergartens, as well as the ability to regulate working time depending on the needs of the child and parent are necessary. But the basis is the inclusion of men to a much greater extent than today in parenthood - 2 weeks of paternity leave is a drop in the ocean of needs ...

Due to the need to address topics regarding the situation of women in today's Poland, the portal sosrodzice.pl joined the group of congress-friendly media.

We would also like to invite you to the panel: "CARE OR STORAGE? Nurseries in the region. NEW FORMS OF CHILD CARE ”(Pushkin's room from 14:30 on Friday, 14.09), during which the speech prepared by our author Julia will be read.