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conditions in Poland. In September 1991, when I arrived in Poland, the national unemployment rate was 9.3%, over 1,740,000 people. By January this had risen to 12%. Of the unemployed, 52% were women and 66.5% were bluecollar workers. In November, the evening news reported that the economy was continuing to falter. Unemployment had reached a total of 2,400,000… the government's deficit was twice the amount that had been predicted… Women, who earn less and are more likely to lose their jobs, were particularly hard hit by the economic difficulties. Historical Consciousness: Taking events and patterns of history and attributing them significance while organizing those same events into patterns or groupings that help one more accurately relate to them within a historical context. Historical Consciousness can be summarized by:” a sense of causality, Connection through time, and potential for completion.” (Long 1996) In essence, HC takes those elements and organizes them succinctly. We are studying how people look at the past. The short Definition: Individual and societal views of the past, the factors that shape those points of view and the connections of those historical understandings to the future. Several Paragraphs: Format: Introduction, Economic Crises, Women in the economic crises (30% lower pay and 60% unemployment! [Penn 2005[), Social Effects in regard to women – Crime, Solidarity Movement, Fertility and Family Structure, all inclusive of female rights. This is a problem that needs to be examined in two ways: the economic difficulties that hit all poles, but were especially harsh upon women; and, the roles of women within the solidarity movement itself. As a third stipulation the events must be viewed through the lenses of historical consciousness. In greater specifics the paper will be organized as a general view, and then a specialized view of the effects upon women. What is unique about the distinct role of Women in Poland’s solidarity movement is the fact that they never formed any particular affection for feminism and failed to advocate their own cause. This is contrast to their distinct influence on the success of the solidarity movement. Due to the fact that this was largely an untraditional telerevolution, men were glorified as the saviors of Poland while the role of women was largely ignored. (Macoch 2006) Thesis: Women made significant contributions to the development of History in Poland in the late 20th century’s Solidarity Movement, but, their accomplishments were largely ignored and they were not rewarded in any way. Like men they still suffered the economic effects on the transition period but to a greater degree. As exemplified in the quote, the people of Poland experienced harsh economic difficulties during the transitional time period. These difficulties were largely due to the inefficient measures enacted by Poland’s leadership. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) contributed to an approach that sought to change the economy quickly. This lead to a lag in the implementation of privatization. Privatization in Poland was destroyed due to Administrative Problems. The administration was far too dynamic as public dissatisfaction lead to frequent changes between 1989 and 1994. (Rondinelli and Yurkiewicz 1996) The first of these was the rise of unemployment. As described in the
robbery.” (Kirwil 2004) This is representative of a vicariousness that infected the people of Poland and may stem from the lack of violence in the original negotiation of 1989. as well as increasing life stresses.” Women in Poland’s transitional period clearly felt the effects of discrimination within the labor market. based on history. and the undesirable changes which discourage having children – such as uncertainty and lack of confidence (which Polish women certainly had . crimes committed by juveniles. changes in values and attitudes toward the traditional family structure. Women are forced to deal with the managing of money in regards to the increased price of goods while retaining their low salaries. Due to the lack of influence in government women were not able to play a part in the development of Polish politics on Family and Fertility.7%! Most of the unemployed were women even though they were half of the representation in the Solidarity party. increased demand for education. The first aspect to examine is crime. Women’s rights also took a hit during the transitional period. With the skyrocketing price of goods in the midst of stagnant salaries.original Text from September 1991 to January 1992 the unemployment rate rose 2. particularly women. These various changes can be grouped via the Historical Consciousness. That is the scarcity of basic goods in Poland. and. Another economic difficulty is illustrated on page 21. That change can be documented by the reported statistic of 46 percent more female suspects in 1999 than in 1989. The Polish family model had been a traditional one. This leads to inflation and has a ripple effect. This is illustrated in the article with the Woman Zofia. new kinds of crime. women. (Kirwil 2004) One mark of this alarming change in crime within Polish society was the rapid increase in violent crimes – felonies: homicide. a dramatic increase in the crimes committed by females. most strikingly. females were most frequently suspected of violent crimes – for homicide. A symptom of the transitional period was a notable increase and change in the structure of crime: an increases in total number of crimes. were unable to make ends meet in many cases. Women were relatively powerless to halt the economic disparity that afflicted them. The transition period lead to several changes in Family formation: diminished tendency to marry. and robbery. diminishing intensity of first marriages. As described by Long: “zrobić zakupy is an activity of frustration when women are constantly faced with the expectation of providing and funds are limited (23).” (Kirwil 2004) Through Historical Consciousness we can interpret these crimes as being caused by opportunities created by changes in the economic system. Consensual Unions were scarce. Due to the inability of women to support their families they were forced to turn to crime. assault etc. These changes stem partially from the AntiAbortion law that was enacted during that time period. who earn less and are more likely to lose their jobs. were particularly hard hit by the economic difficulties. and increase in marriage age.” (Long 1996) The next aspect to examine is the social changes that struck Poland. As said in the quote on top: “Women.” (zrobic zakupy is “make shopping”) The main issue was the hyperinflation in the 1990’s. As she says: “We are happy to just have work. “In the mid 1990s. traffic offenses. are psychological factors… used to explain increased crime in general… and female violent crime in particular. Other contributing factors may have been the increase in cost for having a child due to the inflation characteristic of the time period. the managers of household finance. “Lack of real freedom of choice and the need to struggle for this freedom. This is a travesty for the women of Poland. Women’s crime in particular streams from these changes.
During the Solidarity movement. “In communist Poland women made up 50 percent of the labor force and 50 percent of the membership in the Solidarity free trade union” (Ness 2009). The price women paid for their involvement in the solidarity movement was the later violations of human rights. Historical Consciousness also plays a part in the opposite point of view.” (Macoch 2006) As formerly stated. women were underrepresented in the trade union’s governance and political platform so they settled for trying to impact Polish society in various other ways. Historical Consciousness tends to forget their role due to the concentration on the top tiers of action where women involvement was minimal. Coleman 1990. Becker 1993. which is tragic in lieu of the influence that women had to the Solidarity movement which lead to Poland escaping from the grasp of Communism. this had a reverse effect to what Polish women no doubt hoped as it promoted and solidified the mindset that this was a primarily male revolution. They did not confront men or develop a Historical Consciousness of feminism. Gender equity theory. The lower pay and higher unemployment rates also remained largely unchanged for women in Poland. which is based on an assumption that traditional values are changed by increasing attachment to the ideals of self-realization and/or liberalism and freedom from traditional powers.” To the end of the Telerevolution they produced Tygodnik Mazowsze. as he cites that women made up less than 8 percent of the leadership of the Solidarity movement. “It was women who. Despite their condition of activism in the Solidarity movement Polish women did not pursue other routes that are traditionally opened by women’s activism. This begs Nietzsche’d traditional question: “For What?” . The irony of women’s involvement is also characterized by Ness. Kohler 2001) The list of authors contributed to various theories concerning Polish women’s fertility: Risk aversion theory stipulates that “costs and benefits will come in the future. Those include activism. however. This sort of publication was a catalyst to the fall of Communism. union organizing and the opposition press (which was a large part of the Telerevolution that lead to the regime change!) The impact of women on Telerevolution can not be understated. The ban on abortion in Poland has remained largely unchallenged for twenty years. and post-materialist value theory. organized themselves and carried on the clandestine daily work of the movement. (Penn 2005) Penn illustrates the importance of women to the Solidarity movement by accentuating the grassroots activism that propped up the movement once the initial enthusiasm began to fade. in which the Communist leaders of Poland did not suspect women of Solidarity Movement Activities. This ignored the civic and community leaders. therefore our understanding and ability to assess future effects of our decision is low” (Fratczak 2004). Women were highly involved in Poland’s Solidarity movement. which is self-explanatory. “News of a strike in one part of the country spread through the telephone lines like wildfire into other regions of Poland. The changes in social status of women during this period is indicative of a loss of female rights. (See: Becker 1991. encouraging education. This continues on in the Historical Consciousness even today. in the absence of male leadership.in vast quantities indeed). one of the most influential underground papers of the movement. According to Penn.
" The Cosmopolitan Review [Pittsburg] 3 Oct. Print." International Journal of Sociology 34. pag. Word Count: 1854 . The international encyclopedia of revolution and protest: 1500 to the present. 2004. Shana.: Westview Press. 2009. 2010: n. Print. "Changes in the Structure of Crime During the Transition Period in Poland. Long. Print. Boulder. Web. Agnieszka. Warsaw. Poland: Warsaw School of Economics.. Macoch. Solidarity's secret: the women who defeated Communism in Poland. the cosmopolitan review." We all fought for freedom: women in Poland's solidarity movement. Kirwil.Changes During the Transition Period. Colo. 1-26. Kristi S. Penn. Print. 2005. Lucyna. MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Immanuel. Print.3 (2004): 48-82. Ewa. 29 June 2012. 1996. "Introduction through Women in Economic Transition. Malden. Family and Fertility in Poland . "Solidarity's Secret: The Women Who Defeated Communism in Poland. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Ness.Works Cited Fratczak.
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