POLAND – Women’s Strike is backed by 69% of Polish people, survey shows

The Women’s Strike is backed by 69% of Polish people, including almost every third PiS (government party) supporter, who do not accept that the PiS – instead of solving problems and managing the state – is attacking women, said Marta Lempart, one of the Women’s Strike leaders.

These findings are from a survey of Poles’ opinions on the scale of support for the Strike, the recognition of its main postulates and its role on the political scene. According to the survey, most Poles have heard about the Women’s Strike (95%), and every fifth person participated at least once in their protests. 69% of respondents declared support for Women’s Strike; half support them fully and the rest partially.

Most supporters are among people with left-wing and liberal views. 98% of those fully supportive of the Strike believe that people should be allowed to use contraceptives, 97% are in favour of access to IVF, 87% support the right to be in same-sex relationships, and 78% the right to same sex marriage.

But the Women’s Strike also has support from some conservative circles. Among people declaring their willingness to vote for PiS, as much as 28% also declare support for the Women’s Strike.

The main reasons for supporting the Strike include: the fight for the full rights of women (28%), opposition to restriction of the abortion law (28%), and the desire to remove the PiS government (15%). The greatest determination to change who holds political power is declared by older supporters of the Strike – 25% of those over 50 mention it as the main reason for participating in the protests.

Marta Lempart said: “Women in their 50s declare the greatest support for Women’s Strike. They remember the time when abortion was legal and are well aware that it is women who suffer the consequences of restricting their rights. It is also telling how much support SK has among the PiS electorate. For the party in power, it is a signal that even its voters do not accept that, instead of solving real problems and managing the state, PiS is attacking women.”

On 22 October 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortion due to fetal anomalies unconstitutional. Although the judgments of the Tribunal are subject to immediate announcement, not all dissenting opinions to the judgment were published until last week. The three judges who did not agree with the decision – Zbigniew Jędrzejewski, Mariusz Muszyński and Jarosław Wyrembak –have now all submitted dissenting opinions in writing as of last week.

There was a demonstration by Women’s Strike and other political groups on 20 January in Warsaw. Other political issues were also involved, according to Polsat News. The Women’s Strike survey found that more people were unwilling to demonstrate now, especially older ones, because of Covid-19.

SOURCES: Wyborcza.pl, 26 January 2021 + PHOTO (undated) by Tomasz Pietrzyk / Agencja Gazeta ; Wyborcza.pl, 22 January 2021 ; Polsat News, 22 January 2021