Women’s Position in Politics and The Labour Market in Contemporary Poland
The aim of this essay is to present the position of women in politics and the labour market after Poland’s accession to the European Union in 2004. The recent reports on Polish women’s participation in politics show a considerable increase in 2010. Yet, although the number of female Members of Parliament (MPs) has increased in absolute terms, there is still a meaningful disproportion between men and women in the Polish parliament. There are several important reasons responsible for these disproportions such as patronizing attitudes towards women often expressed by male politicians in public debates and in the media and the absence of females’ names at the top positions of electoral lists with the result that fewer women win elections and sit in the national parliament. A similar situation can be observed in employment. There are several causes of the weak position of women in the labour market. First of all, the general level of unemployment in Poland is quite high (around 11.5% in January 2015). Secondly, many women are discouraged from actively seeking jobs because of unequal pay. Thirdly, the majority of women occupy professions which are less respected and thus lower paid, and where the prospects for promotion are poor. Finally, many women succumb to social pressure deriving from the attitude of a traditional model of family which is still prevalent in Poland.
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