Poland: Network of East-West Women-Polska
The Network of East-West Women–Polska published a Polish adaptation of Our Bodies, Ourselves in 2004 on the heels of Poland’s post communist transformation to a market economy.
The Polish resource could not have arrived at a better time. “It is of vital importance for Polish women to know where and how to get help in case they are sick, what questions they should ask when talking to a physician, what rights they have as patients. Women need to be aware of their health situation and this will help them choose what is best for them…. The book tells them explicitly they have the RIGHT to demand the information they need...”
While post-communist reforms to the health care sector fostered confusion and distrust of a profit-driven medical system, this adaptation had particular implications on women and to maximize access, our partner launched a wide scale publicity campaign. This included partnering with a renowned Polish jazz singer and advertising the book on major feminist websites.
They also worked with a distributor to sell the book all over the country – roughly 2000 copies to date – and donated copies to NGOs, public libraries (including the Medical Academy Gdansk Library where it is still in use), hospitals and auctions for social benefits.
Excerpts are available on their website and, pending funding, our partner has expressed interest in publishing an updated edition. Till then, there are plans to upload the book on Facebook!
If you would like more information about this project and explore ways you might get involved, please contact the OBOS Global Initiative staff.
Meet Our Partner
Founded in 1991, the Network of East-West Women-Polska has supported the growth of gender scholarship. movement building, information exchange and grassroots activism on women’s health and rights in Central and Eastern Europe, the Newly Independent States (CEE/NIS) and the Russian Federation.
Through their Book and Journal Project in particular, the organization has helped establish gender studies and women's rights centers and libraries, and supported original research and publications on women's changing situations throughout the region. In 11 years, this project has contributed roughly 6,500 books and journals, as well as $150,000 in small grants to feminist scholars, activists and women's NGOs.
The organization enjoys Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations; and with members in more than 30 countries, they are among the largest and most respected networks in CEE/NIS and a trusted resource on gender in democratizing societies.
Their member roster includes human rights activists, writers, students, journalists, lawyers, parliamentarians, professors, artists, union organizers, health care workers and feminist activists, all of whom work in partnership with each other to promote women's rights and strengthen women's role and participation in civil society. They also publish newsletters on a range of issues.
While their overarching goal is to support the formation of independent women's movements and strengthen the capacities of women and women's NGOs to influence policy, here are some specific principles that inform the organization’s mission and activities:
- Women's full and equal participation in the creation of a just and inclusive civil society.
- Women's rights to healthcare, reproductive choice and control over decisions of when and under what conditions to give birth.
- Women's and men's right to be free of discrimination of any kind.
- Women's (and men's) right to economic justice, including an adequate and accessible safety-net for vulnerable members of society.
- Women's (and men's) right to be free of violence in the private and the public sphere, to be free of war, state violence and domination in all its forms.
- Women's freedom of sexual expression and pleasure, including everyone's right to their sexual orientation.
- Women's (and men's) right to be free of racial and ethnic hatred.
- Women's (and men's) right to full public expression of ideas-verbal or visual-without censorship of any kind.
For more information, please contact either the OBOS Global Initiative or the organization directly.
Contact Person: Malgorzata Tarasiewicz / Joanna Puzewicz
Address: ul.Miszewskiego 17/100, 80-239 Gdańsk, Poland
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Phone: 91-1892-246419/ 246715
Website: www.neww.eu / www.neww.org.pl
Looking for a Copy?
If you would like copies of the Polish adaptation, you can place an order on the NEWW website.
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