It has been a hundred years since women in Poland were granted electoral rights, and many other rights, which we consider today to be natural and assigned to everyone regardless of sex. American women will celebrate their centennial of obtaining electoral rights next year, but this anniversary only applies to white women. Our panel will discuss the ways in which Polish and American women reclaimed their rights, and how, over the last century, these rights confronted social, historical and political barriers. There were also periods of retrograde actions, both in law and in practice. The panelists will discuss the trajectories of the feminist movement in the US and in Poland and the forces that contributed to the development of feminist thought. Was American feminist thought essential for women activists in post-1989 Poland? Have Polish women influenced American women in any way? Though the time period and the socio-political context that enabled the emergence of women’s voices and their agency in the two countries differ greatly, one can argue that today women’s rights, their role, and status here and there face similar challenges.
Prof. Gina Walker: Historian, Director of The New Historia at The New School, New School, a pioneer in the global project of feminist historical recovery of earlier women
Wanda Nowicka: Lecturer, Gender Studies at the Warsaw University, Honorary President of Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning, Reproductive Health Matters, Member of Advisory Council, Chair Equality and Modernity Association
Katarzyna Wężyk: Journalist, publicists, writer, specializing in American and Canadian politics and gender equality
Zuzanna Krzątała: Fellow of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, currently finising her Masters at the New School for Social Research on the politics of refugee representation