Publikation Inequality / Social Struggles - Analysis of Capitalism - Social Movements / Organizing - Gender Relations - State / Democracy - Economic / Social Policy - Europe - Eastern Europe - Europe for the many - Europa links - Feminism Unsatisfactory Success and Hidden Austerity Policies

Austerity, Gender Inequality and Feminism after the Crisis in Poland





Agata Czarnacka, Antonija Todić,


Januar 2019


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Poland is not subject to classic forms of austerity regimes usually imposed by the Troika: the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Very briefly, from 2009 to 2012 approximately, a significant increase in the budgetary deficit due to aftershocks from the worldwide economic crisis triggered the measures aiming at reducing the excessive deficit such as an over four year long freezing of payments in the public sector and administration. It meant introducing a series of counter-crisis special purpose acts with an anti-employee character.

According to the arrangements by the Trilateral Commission, these were intended only as temporary measures, however, over the course of time, successive prime ministers: Donald Tusk, otherwise a party in the original negotiations, Ewa Kopacz and Beata Szydło permanently placed the makeshift (de)regulations in the Polish Labour Code. However, it does not mean that austerity was not practiced in Poland. On the contrary, it might be said that starting from Leszek Balcerowicz’s ‘shock therapy’, the Polish economy policy was partially based on the premises of late capitalism and partially on classic austerity requirements.

  • Introduction
  • Economic transformation in Poland and ‘debt-driven economy’
  • Influence of accession to the European Union on the equal rights issue
  • Reign of the PiS party and the ‘family mainstreaming’ paradigm
  • Recommendations for left-wing policy
  • References
  • Biography

This publication was financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the German Federal Foreign Office. This publication or parts of it can be used by others for free as long as they provide a proper reference to the original publication. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies with the authors.

Author's biographical details

Agata Czarnacka is a Polish philosopher, feminist and opinion journalist. She is also one of the organizers of the Black Protests in Warsaw. Between 2012 and 2015 she worked as a policy advisor to Polish Social Democratic party. Then she took up to the streets to protest conservative policies of the PiS government. She works as a project coordinator with Fundacja Izabeli Jarugi-Nowackiej, known for linking left political thought with feminism. She has also translated appr. 15 books, including Levinas, Latour, Butler and Piketty.