Ułatwienia dostępu

The “Black Protest” is a wake-up call for Europe


By Helena Szczodry, Eurongos

The messages of solidarity sent to women in Ireland and South America throughout the “Black Protest” clearly indicated that this mass mobilisation against the proposed abortion ban in Poland is not only a Polish matter. If we are truly worried about the ongoing political developments and how will they shape the future of Europe, we must ensure that the gender perspective is taken into account in the current debate. What are the lessons learned from Central and Eastern Europe with regards to women’s rights and what European values are at stake?

Anyone who thinks that the rise of opposition to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Central and Eastern Europe is a recent development is sadly mistaken. Since 1989, the status of SRHR and women’s rights in the region has been in permanent crisis. It was one of the most unexpected results of the Soviet bloc’s transition from communism to democracy, yet it was not prominent enough.

Of course, Central and Eastern Europe is not a monolith, and the socio-economic and political situations at national level varies – not to mention the division between non-EU and EU countries or the ongoing war in Ukraine, which turned almost 2 million people into refugees. But it is women that have been among the groups most affected by the post-communist transformation in the region.

share this entry