The Pioneers of Polish Women's Suffrage Movement
Remarks on the history of women's emancipation in modern Poland
– A webinar with dr. Dobrochna Kałwa of the University of Warsaw
Thursday, September 24, 2020, 1:00 p.m. EDT
In 1918 Polish women gained political rights. The newly restored Poland declared the equality of all citizens regardless of nationality, gender, or religion. Yet, suffrage was not handed to women. On the contrary, it was a long and arduous road full of obstacles and challenges that eventually led to granting women the right to participate in democracy.
Historian Dr. Dobrochna Kałwa will examine the Polish way of women's suffrage movement. No doubt there were some unique elements that resulted from the status of a stateless nation and traditions of political activities of noblewomen. On the other hand, Polish women had to overcome many obstacles typical to other European countries in the time of the 19th-century modernization, and World War I.
Who were Poland's first leaders of women's fight, precursors of new roles, and activities? What strategies did women choose to make their demands known? How did they convince male politicians to support their program? Who were the first Polish female politicians? These questions will guide us through the short history of women in Poland.
Dr. Dobrochna Kałwa, an Associated Professor at the University of Warsaw, (since 2012); and Jagiellonian University in Kraków (2001-2012), a visiting professor at Erfurt Universität (2010). Member of the editorial board of "Aspasia. The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History", co-founder of the Polish Oral History Association.
Field of interest: women's history of 20th century Poland, the methodology of history, oral history, a memory of communism.