Women’s Strike Releases Social Energy in ‘Local’ Poland

The Ruling Camp's Display of Weakness

11 February 2021

The Women’s Strike has loosened the tongue of Poles in the province and may become the beginning of a renaissance of self-governance in Poland.

It seems that this time the attack of the central government on human rights and freedoms has tipped the balance. The latest strike is again a signal that Polish women and men want to regain control over the democratic process, and thanks to them, Poland is slightly climbing in the Democracy Index of 2020.

Polish cities and towns are waking up from political lethargy. A glance at the protest map reveals the scale of the civic awakening. New local leaders appear spontaneously; groups of residents take to the streets to publicly manifest their beliefs. While major central protests are attracting the media and the public’s attention, the real drivers of change are these local revivals.

‘Locals’ always speak for themselves; they want to have an impact on the shared space in which they live. They want to define the conditions of their existence; they want to decide for themselves, without claiming the right to establish universal rules. They are not talking about what is for everyone and forever, but what is for them now. And this is the essence of self-governance.

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Gabriela Rogowska

Translator and Supporting Editor of Res Publica Nowa and Visegrad Insight. A graduate of cultural studies (Mediterranean studies) and philosophy at the University of Warsaw.

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