The gender equality index for Poland is 56.8 on a scale from 1 to 100. This is below the figure of 66.2 for the EU-28, although progress is keeping pace with the average tempo of changes in the EU. Poland’s score increased by 4.4 points, which currently results in the 18th position.
The Constitution of the Republic of Poland treats equal rights of men and women and the prohibition of gender discrimination in Article 33.
At the state level, there are no specific regulations, or codex of good practices supporting equality and diversification in different areas of social life, including culture. Only 29.13% of the Parliament (Sejm) is female. Moreover, there is a very low number of women in government (17%). However, the Minister of Culture Robert Gliński, has two women (Wanda Zwinogrodzka and Magdalena Gawin) and two men in his Ministry’s leadership team.
There are no quota schemes and most cultural institutions are managed by men, which is in line with the general trend in Poland and in Europe. Among the lower rank cultural professions, although, there is a relatively high degree of feminisation.
One of the most widespread phenomena that undermine gender equality is the gender pay gap. In Poland it is 7%. The difference between men and women in the “specialist” group of occupation (which includes most of the culture oriented professions) is 12%. The biggest income disparity is among managers, where women earn 23% less than men (Eurostat 2018).
On the other hand, the city of Warsaw, led by major Rafał Trzaskowski, has launched a programme dedicated to women in 2019 (“Warszawa dla kobiet”). The main points of the programme are: appointment of a Women’s Affairs Officer and a Women’s Council, aid and safety programmes, increased in vitro funding, vaccination against HPV and access to medical care without a conscience clause.
At the moment of writing, there are many protests in Poland resulting from the tightening of the abortion law. Women flock to the streets demanding abortion rights and carrying anti-government slogans. The Programme Council of the All-Poland Women’s Strike was established. They presented a list of postulates, which initially did not include culture. However, the situation has changed and there is a special working group within the Council of the All-Poland Women’s Strike that is dedicated to the cultural matters.