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What Comes after a Cycle of Protests? The Case of the 2020 Women’s Protests in Poland

A flag with the Women's Strike logo at the Krakow Equality March

A flag with the Women's Strike logo at the Krakow Equality March [Chorągiewka z logiem Strajku Kobiet na krakowskim marszu równości.]. By Tomasz Molina - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link.

Magdalena Muszel is an assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Gdańsk, and president of Fundacja Zatoka, Gdańsk, Poland. Grzegorz Piotrowski is an assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Gdańsk, and researcher at the European Solidarity Centre, Gdańsk, Poland.

This text is based on research conducted within the project Feminist Activism in Small Towns (Feministischer Aktivismus in Kleinstadten), funded by the Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung.

Upsurges in activism are often perceived as waves or cycles of protests that correspond to times of intense social movement activity intertwined with periods when activities are less visible and movements are “in suspension,” taking a more institutionalized form. However, in the case of feminist movements, this wave-like approach is not entirely justified and appropriate. Despite recognizing forms of continuity characteristic of feminist movements, such an approach underlines the divisions between successive “waves.” It has been also criticized for being ethnocentric and ignoring the temporality of feminist movements in various parts of the world. The struggle for women’s rights is strongly determined by history, as well as the specific social and cultural contexts prevailing in a given place. Therefore, while the wave assumption is valid for an understanding of feminism’s temporality in the United States and the United Kingdom, it might not be as helpful in understanding feminism in a post-communist country such as Poland, where the history of feminist movements has been distinctly different.1

In every cycle, protests fade out after the peak and decrease in number and popularity. As for the key question—what comes after the cycle of protests?—scholars have prepared a number of answers. There may be another cycle of protest, counter-movements may emerge, political and social goals may be reached, repression may intimidate the movement in question, and so on. In the case of the Polish Women’s Strike, the political goals were never met, and the verdict of the Constitutional Tribunal, published October 22, 2020, sparked a continuation of protests. With the conservative Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, or PiS) having a marginal but secure majority in the lower chamber of the parliament, any significant political moves are still out of question. The energy of the people participating in the protests has evaporated and major opposition parties, with the exception of the Left party, have not included the issue of reproductive rights in their current political agendas. But nevertheless, this cycle of protests has had, in our opinion, a long-lasting and important effect, changing the values and political preferences of specific gender and age groups, as well as affecting the common perception of political protests in Poland.

In the Polish public debate, reproductive rights became a particularly important topic during the political transition of 1989. Under Communist rule, pregnant people had the right to terminate pregnancy on demand. The Solidarność camp took a (neo)conservative turn during the mid-1980s, and the anti-choice lobby grew stronger and more vocal internally. One of the issues discussed in the second meeting of delegates of the “Solidarność” trade union was a call to ban abortion in Poland. After the women’s faction protested against this call, it was disbanded in 1990. With Catholic fundamentalists gaining more power and liberals taking an ambivalent stance, more and more restrictions on reproductive rights came into effect, creating a more oppressive zeitgeist.

A status quo was established in 1993, via regulations later dubbed “the abortion compromise.” The compromise allows abortion in four situations: when the pregnancy is a result of a crime (rape or incest), when the mother’s life or health is endangered, when the fetus shows terminal or severe genetic flaws, or when there will be “serious life hardship.” The latter case was abolished by the Constitutional Tribunal in 1997. Elżbieta Matynia writes that these anti-abortion measures were voted on “in the favorable context of the fresh and authentic gratitude that society felt toward the Catholic Church for its long service on behalf of the survival of the Polish nation.” Since then, “the Polish abortion law has become a ‘cultural specificity.’”2

Over the years, there have been many attempts to further change abortion law in Poland in one way or another, but the so-called compromise remains untouched. However, the growing anti-choice lobby has gained power and resources, thanks to significant support from the Catholic Church and international networks of religious and anti-choice organizations. A political shift started in 2015, when the Law and Justice Party won the general elections with a comfortable majority in both chambers of Parliament and placed their candidate in the presidential office. The first attempt to restrict abortion law was made soon after, in early 2016. The parliament decided to discuss a citizen’s initiative written by Kaja Godek and her organization (Życie i Rodzina Foundation), which proposed a complete ban on abortion in Poland.3

As a result, on Monday, October 3, 2016, one of the largest strikes since the 1980s swept through the country. It was a culmination of several weeks of preparation. It took place in over 140 locations throughout Poland. Following the example of the Icelandic women’s strike of 1973, a large number of Polish women did not report to work. Those women who had to go to work but wanted to show their support for the protest came dressed in black (hence the name “Black Protest” or “Black Monday,” adopted later). Immediately after the protests, Ewa Majewska wrote bluntly that with these manifestations “feminism began in Poland. Not an exclusive movement of women from the middle class, from the metropolitan elite, but a nationwide, and then also international, mobilization of women in several countries around the world for our rights.” Three days later, on October 6, the lower chamber of the parliament rejected the “Stop Abortion” project in a vote.4

Further waves of protests followed in 2017, in 2018, and, though much smaller, in 2019, and the networks of feminist activists consolidated, crystalized, and matured. In 2016, the fact that the protests took place throughout the country, including in small provincial towns—the inhabitants of which are the main electoral force of the Law and Justice Party—was one of the key factors in the success of the protesters and in maintaining the so-called abortion compromise at the time.

In early 2020, a petition was submitted by Members of Parliament (MPs) of the ruling Law and Justice party, two of whom later became judges of the Constitutional Tribunal, thus presiding over their own petition. On Thursday, October 22, 2020, the Tribunal declared that terminating a pregnancy of a deformed fetus was unconstitutional. This sparked nationwide and international protests that lasted from the winter of 2020 until the spring of 2021. These protests were framed as defending reproductive rights, and as opposition to both the involvement of religious fundamentalists in the country and the undemocratic procedure that had changed the law. The government’s decision was poorly received by the public: 70.7 percent of respondents assessed the verdict negatively, 13.2 percent responded positively, and 16.1 percent had no opinion on this issue.5

The main change in the 2020 protests, when compared to those of 2016, was the scale. According to the head of the police force, on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, the seventh day of the protests, the police registered 410 events throughout the country, attended by approximately 430,000 people. On-site participation in the protests suggests that both numbers could be much higher. On October 30, a massive demonstration of over 100,000 people was organized in Warsaw.

For attendees of the 2020 protests, one thing was also noticeable: the young age of the protesters. People in their early twenties and younger made up the vast majority of the crowd. This, perhaps, explains the radicalism of their slogans and demands. As one protest organizer we spoke to in a town with about 35,000 inhabitants said: “Young people are uncompromising, they do not want to get along. They have grown up with a sense of freedom and now someone wants to take it away from them.”

In an interview, one of the organizers of the protests in Sochaczew pointed out the differences between the women’s protests in 2016 and those in 2020: “Now there is a completely different energy. It’s wonderful. They are young people and they have no fear of taking to the streets and fighting for their rights. They look at things in a broader way. They are afraid that they will be deprived of more freedoms, more rights, more spaces, that this is a dictatorship that will impose everything on them.”

What followed was the institutionalization of the protest. On November 1, the leaders of the strike announced the establishment of the Consultative Council of the Women’s Strike and announced their first postulates: “The Council is to work on the voices of the protests that are taking place in Poland, to gather them and organize them,” said Marta Lempart, one of the leaders of Women’s Strike.6 Among the demands were the right to an abortion, women’s rights, the rights of the LGBTQIA+ people, the elimination of the influence of the Catholic Church on the state and the introduction of a truly secular state, the removal of religious lessons from public schools, the prevention of the climate catastrophe, and the elimination of precarious job contracts. The Council also addressed issues connected to animal rights, education, and health care.

The support for struggles over reproductive rights suggests that the changes in the understanding of gender roles in Poland are much bigger than previously expected. These demands, expressed through slogans, placards, and memes posted on social media, are not only targeted toward the governing right-wing party. At the core, there is the demand to stop the abuse of reproductive rights, which are guaranteed by law in democratic states. The ultimate objection is to state interference in the spheres of privacy and intimacy, and to a monolithic vision of the world imposed by the state in which the nation and the church dominate. One of the most popular slogans and hashtags of the protest is #tojestwojna, or “this is war.” The civic uproar of the crowds in the street is a harbinger of the end of patriarchy in all areas of life.

One characteristic aspect of this phenomenon is relevant, too: the rejection of a group labeled dziadersi (roughly translated as old folks, but similar to the term boomers), which includes, but is not limited to, politicians, opinion-makers, and former dissidents—often with liberal beliefs—who criticized the “vulgar” narrative and slogans of the protests and their general repertoire of expressions. The (mostly) young people participating in and organizing the women’s strikes and protests coined the term, and began to refuse to listen to or even engage in discussion with these “old folks.”

What is also noteworthy is the large variety of forms of protests adopted during this wave. Especially interesting are the remote blockades organized mainly through electronic means—mostly spamming, texting, calling mobile phone numbers, and reporting sites on Facebook. They targeted not only MPs and government officials, but also anti-choice and far-right activists. On the first day of the protests, Godek, a key figure in the anti-choice movement, received around 1,500 text messages and 1,200 calls.7 Throughout the country, other events were staged, such as walks on the beach, bicycle protests, a Halloween protest under the slogan “trick or free choice,” and even a techno street party on October 28, which was a relative novelty in the Polish context, particularly the politicized one. Young people proved that they want to be present in the public debate, although they often use non-obvious tools such as happenings, one-person strikes, performances, and the whole spectrum of tactics provided by the Internet and social media.

Also different in 2020 was the support from political parties. In 2016, Poland was a country with no left-wing party in the parliament; in the 2019 election, the Left party received 12.56 percent of the vote, seating several former activists as MPs. This group, together with some young female MPs from the liberal party, Koalicja Obywatelska, provided not only actual—rather than merely symbolic—support against the ruling Law and Justice party in the lower chamber of the parliament, but also assisted at protests and police stations.

Besides the usual events in public places and in front of public offices (in this case, the Constitutional Court and the Prime Minister’s offices), protests took place in front of the headquarters of Ordo Iuris, an organization seen as one of the key actors of the contested changes, and in front of the private residences of Godek and the heavily guarded home of Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Law and Justice. Those in quarantine or isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic practiced so-called window protests, with the widespread sign of lightning as the protesters’ logo.

Another novelty in this cycle was the anti-clerical aspect. Demonstrations in the first days of the cycle usually began in front of the Law and Justice Party office, but soon moved toward places connected with the Catholic Church: bishops’ residences, cathedrals, and so on. The police reported twenty-two acts of “disrupting a religious service” and seventy-nine incidents of vandalism related to churches (in nearly all cases, spray-painting their facades).8 According to political scientist Anna Grzymała-Busse, “for the first time ever, protests have moved into churches, a symbolically telling move in a country where the Catholic Church has held enormous moral authority for decades. On Sundays, clergy met with protesters at mass, dressed as handmaids—a reference to author Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel about the repression of women.”9

In comparison to previous protests, it is striking that 2020 was the first time women were not facing the possibility of change in the law, but witnessing the change in itself, making them feel powerless and furious, as some of the organizers have told us. Unsurprisingly, the youngest participants turned out to be the most radicalized. Older activists and organizers of the protests told us that they began mitigating the actions of the most radical youth due to fear of repression by the police, which has increased in some cities where protests took place, becoming a common and popular narrative in mainstream media. Here, it is worth mentioning that the Polish police have recently shown unequal treatment of street protests, often overlooking the actions of the far-right and pacifying other protests. This was visible during the summer of 2020, when police clashed with pro-LGBTQIA+ protesters—in Warsaw in particular—detaining forty-eight people, including some passers-by. Interestingly, in this case, more intense repression did not lead to a decline in protests.

Another issue that has been noted is the new, more radical language that protesters used. There were numerous slogans repeated during the protests, exhibited on banners, and used in Internet communications: “revolution is a woman,” and, even more widespread, “this is war!” However, the most commonly chanted slogans were “wypierdalać” (“get the fuck out!”) and “Jebać PiS” (“fuck Law and Justice”), sometimes coded as ***** ***, or eight stars. The eight-star symbol was used for the first time during the presidential campaign in the summer of 2020, followed by the emergence of an online Eight Stars Movement. During the feminist protests of 2020, this was the most commonly chanted slogan, creating a stir among the political class and some of the commentators from the conservative and liberal sides, as well as leftist MPs, who appeared on TV with placards boasting the eight-star logo. Over the next few days, several artists recorded protest songs using this theme, with a song by Cypis enjoying 1.8 million views on YouTube in the first 48 hours, becoming an unofficial anthem of the street parties of October 2020 and onward.

What helped the protests reach young people was the framing of the activities as the defense of basic freedoms and human rights. This coincided with a shift in the narrative of pro-choice organizations, but can also be observed in the framing now used by Amnesty International, which also began calling access to safe and legal abortion a human right, without placing limitations on the cases to which it applied.

This shift had several consequences, from the shock of liberal commentators to the shifting of the discourse by the Law and Justice towards a religious and civilizational struggle. In a video recording posted on Law and Justice’s Facebook profile on October 27, 2020, party leader Kaczyński called his supporters to “defend churches countrywide.” On the next night of protests, there were attacks from right-wing groups. Until then, voices critical of the church and its position were labeled as “radical” and “extreme.” After these events, the protests turned against the church and the clergy, which seems to prove the growing secularization of the country. According to the Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS), which analyzed changes in religiousness of Poles in the period from 1992 to 2021, the share of religious believers and practitioners is at its lowest, and the relative share of non-believers and non-practitioners in the country is the highest in the history of the study. The biggest decline among regular practitioners was in the 18–24 age group, dropping from 69 percent in 1992 to 23 percent in 2021.10

Another taboo that fell during the 2020 feminist protests in Poland concerns the discourse on abortion itself. For many years, abortion was a controversial topic, and performing abortion was a social taboo. This is also reflected in the numbers, as there are around 1,000 legal abortions per year, but, according to the Federation for Women and Family Planning, a total of about 100,000 abortions in Poland are performed annually. As Majewska wrote, “every newspaper in Poland advertises abortion—albeit under the name of ‘inducing menstruation’ or ‘regulating the menstrual cycle.’ Many doctors who refuse to carry out terminations in public hospitals, agree to perform abortions in private clinics. It is all a question of money—and connections.” For a long time, hardly anyone wanted to discuss the issue in public.11

Since the outbreak of the protests over reproductive rights connected to changes in the abortion law, it seems that abortion is no longer a taboo in the discourse. There are several initiatives supporting legal access to abortion in any form (for example, the “morning after” pill) or dedicated to arranging abortions abroad (usually in Germany, Slovakia, or the Netherlands). These initiatives—including Legalna Aborcja and the Aborcyjny Dream Team—are more and more often advertised online and in the public space, with characteristic stickers appearing in the streets. Voluntary organizations have introduced a hotline helping patients access safe abortion. The phone number is painted on walls, sidewalks, and occasionally church facades. There were numerous public statements made by female celebrities who had abortions (which, in many cases, saved their lives). The narrative has been picked up by groups of activists that want to use the discussion as a teaching tactic and aim to provide information and knowledge on the topic of abortion, often correcting misinformation coming from the anti-choice activists. One of them is a campaign, “O Tym Się Nie Mówi,” (“that which one does not speak about”), the main goal of which is to produce a documentary movie on embryo-pathological reasons for abortion.

Accompanying Structural Changes in Broader Polish Society

Despite the anti-LGBTQIA+ campaign launched by the Law and Order party in the summer of 2020, there has been growing support for same-sex partnerships. According to an Ipsos poll conducted in 2019 for, a vast majority (56 percent) support granting gay and lesbian couples the right to enter into civil partnerships, and as many as 41 percent would agree that they should be able to marry (in 2017, it was 52 percent and 38 percent, respectively). Polish women are much more tolerant than Polish men, with 60 percent supporting same-sex partnerships (versus 51 percent of men), and 47 percent supporting same-sex marriage (compared to just one-third of Polish men). There is strong and growing support for funding in vitro fertilization through the public health system—up to 76 percent—despite efforts by anti-choice groups to ban the procedure. Finally, there is strong support for maintaining the previous longstanding abortion “compromise.” Between 1992 and 2016, Poles were regularly asked about embryo-pathological reasons for aborting pregnancies. Each time, a majority of Poles (61 percent) said that abortion should be legal in these cases.12

Moreover, one can see an accelerated trend of secularization in Poland. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, Poland is among the countries where religiosity is declining the fastest. This is observed along with the decline of various indicators of religiousness, including self-declared regular attendance at Sunday Mass (about 40 percent for those aged 60 and older and 26 percent for those aged 18–40) and participation in religious classes in school (in total, about 25 percent of high school students participate in such classes; in some parts of the country, there are schools where religion is not taught at all, due to lack of interest).

What Comes after a Cycle of Protests?

The streets, taken by hundreds of thousands of people in October and November 2020, became deserted in the months following. The slogan “get the fuck out” did not chase away either the power of Law and Order, the hierarchy of the church, or the patriarchal structures—in the workplace, in politics (including opposition politics), in the media, or in families. This could perhaps suggest that the campaign has been unsuccessful, at least in tactical terms. However, there are numerous long-term consequences that suggest a different assessment.

The actions of social movements have attracted more and more scholarly attention in recent years. When discussing successes or failures of these movements, researchers are shifting their focus from political outcomes toward the less-often studied cultural impact.13

The term cultural outcomes is complicated. It is understood as the symbolic dimension of policies and practices, in which “new identities, categories, criteria of moral worth, and forms of knowledge” emerge. In this understanding, culture consists of narratives, rituals, objects, or actions that carry symbolic meaning. In the case of a protest cycle, the cultural outcome of a social movement can be diffused within a society, either through the protests themselves or media coverage, but also via social networks, where they can affect and impact a broader population. In recent years, social media has begun to play a more important role, disseminating the aforementioned cultural changes beyond the movement, shifting society through changes at the individual level or in common practices, as well as through organizations or institutions. A large part of the fight has moved to the Internet, as tools have changed and so-called analogue groups seem unnecessary. It used to be much more difficult to organize events. An activist now can easily log on to social media in order to set up a discussion group, make a post, or announce that they are organizing an event. New discursive opportunities, created by the cultural production of social movements, are making some slogans, narratives, or actions socially unacceptable, while others are becoming socially accepted.14

The protests during the autumn of 2020 did not bring any tactical victory—the laws in question are still in force. Moreover, the Tribunal’s verdict and the accompanying discussion had a chilling effect on doctors and others dealing with reproductive rights, limiting the already small number of legal abortions and risking the health and lives of young Poles. As a result, together with the accumulated uncertainties connected to COVID-19, many pregnant Poles confront other dilemmas: they either postpone the decision to have children or decide not to have them at all. The political party responsible for this decision still leads in polls, with a visible decline that could be observed in the last weeks of 2020. But strategically speaking, the protests of 2020 had far-reaching consequences for Polish society.

The first consequence of this cycle of protests is that it established a network of activists, who often describe themselves as “an informal, non-partisan initiative of women.” One of our interviewees commented in the following manner: “We have no headquarters or board of directors, only a help desk—a nationwide support committee.… In the Women’s Strike, the principle of autonomy of local groups applies. When it comes to joint action, we are bound by the lowest common denominator—a common name, a slogan and a basis for visual identification, as well as formal and material support from the help desk.” In May 2021, Marta Lempart, a leader of the Polish Women’s Strike, talked about the current activity of the organization: “It is obvious to me that we are now gaining strength…but the fact that we see this cyclicality and are able to approach it calmly allows us not only to survive, but also to make good use of this time. We arm ourselves, we plot.”15 One of the leaders of the movement, Agnieszka Czeredecka, in a recent media interview, highlighted the attitude-shaping importance of street protests: “You can’t live on high notes all the time, because you go crazy, but you mobilize quickly when you need to. And this experience is deposited, accumulated, and attitudes are formed.… For many people, the recent protests were a revelation that this government should ‘get the fuck out.’ And that will stay with them.”16

Chart 1. Political Self-Identification of Polish Women, Aged 18–24

Chart 1. Political Self-Identification of Polish Women, Aged 18–24

Source: Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS), “Political Views of Young People,” Research Reports, no. 28 (2021).

Secondly, the protests changed the political preferences of Poles, and in particular, Polish women. CBOS recently reported that in 2020 the percentage of young Polish women (aged 18–24 years old) with left-wing views more than doubled compared to the previous year, reaching the highest level in the history of the study, and was higher than the percentage of young women with right-wing views. Young Polish women are mainly responsible for the record number of left-wing respondents. As many as 40 percent of them identify with the left—the highest result in the history of the study and a jump of over 20 percentage points compared to the previous year—compared to 22 percent among young men.17

Scholar Anna Bojanowska-Sosnowska commented on the survey: “This survey didn’t show anything we didn’t know. The results show that young people are radicalizing. In the youngest group of voters, the number of people declaring no opinion is decreasing.” She addressed the gender divide, too: “Certainly, many of them—young women—are no longer avoiding discussion of issues that are fundamental to them. Many are becoming politically active, fighting loudly and actively for their causes, but we see similar movements elsewhere in the world as well. However, this does not mean a change on the political scene, and political support for the Left does not mean [actual] support for the Left.”18

What is visible is that young people are increasingly interested in politics, and moving away from the belief that politics does not concern them. We know from observation that they want to get involved and do, very often from the bottom up. Meanwhile, the party establishment is unable to enter into dialogue with them or engage them in activities. What is also worth mentioning is that the shift in political preferences is disconnected from the assessment of politics in general. Ninety-nine percent of young people in Poland rate the political decisions of the past year as bad or very bad.19

In addition, there has been a change in perception of protests in general. What used to be a dominant element of the narrative about Poland and other post-socialist countries was the disengagement of civil society, its professionalization and transformation into the “third sector,” and a general lack of political activity, particularly among the youngest members of the society. Although this notion has been contested by numerous authors over the years, it is being disproven through empirical evidence of the growing activism among the youngest age group. The number of people aged 18–24 that said they had taken part in a protest in the previous twelve months rose from 6.8 percent in 2019 to 24 percent in 2020, accelerating a trend visible in the last few years.

Most Poles support the fetal defects clause, even if abortion itself is controversial, and the government’s decision to outlaw it was met with negative public perception. When asked the question, “How do you evaluate the judgment of the Constitutional Court on abortion?,” as many as 70.7 percent of respondents evaluated it negatively (13.2 percent of respondents positively assessed the judgment, while 16.1 percent of respondents had no opinion).

Chart 2. Self-Declared Protest Participation in the Last Twelve Months

Chart 2. Self-Declared Protest Participation in the Last Twelve Months

Source: CBOS, “Political Views of Young People,” Research Reports, no. 28 (2021).

After the wave of protests, the feminist movement shifted toward what sociologist Alberto Melucci called “the submerged phase,” with less spectacular and publicly visible activities. These include reactions to current developments, such as the death of Iza in September 2021 (and others since), who was denied termination of a dead fetus in the twenty-second week of pregnancy, when the doctors decided to wait for a naturally induced miscarriage. As a result, Iza died of septic shock. The doctors were also blamed for waiting too long out of fear of the legal consequences of the new law, and of the actions of anti-choice activists, who threaten hospitals with legal action in cases of terminated pregnancies. This triggered a wave of protests and marches across Poland in memory of Iza and other victims of Poland’s stricter abortion laws.

Another activity is the promotion of self-managed, pro-abortion initiatives via stickers, graffiti, or occasionally during media appearances by more recognizable activists or politicians. Fueled by financial support through crowdfunding, initiatives such as Aborcyjny Dream Team are helping facilitate pharmacological abortion or by sending women abroad to undergo the procedure. The crowdfunding campaign, aimed at collecting about $400,000, doubled this amount in about twenty-four hours. One of the activists, Justyna, is facing criminal charges for helping other women in obtaining abortion pills. According to Polish law, it is legal to perform such a procedure on oneself, but it is a criminal offense to help or assist others. The definition of what is “help” is dependent on the prosecutor’s interpretation. The prosecution of Justyna is now used by the movement to remind the public of its existence, and to continue to build and solidify networks of activists and supporters.

With the recent changes in the abortion law in the United States and its resonance in the media, there are new interpretations of the recent Polish cycle of women’s protest as part of a global cycle of struggles for reproductive rights, amplifying the similarities and solidarity among protest movements in Poland, the United States, Argentina, and Ireland.


  1. Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement: Social Movements, Collective Action, and Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Elizabeth Evans and Prudence Chamberlain, “Critical Waves: Exploring Feminist Identity, Discourse and Praxis in Western Feminism,” Social Movement Studies 14, no. 4 (2014): 396–409; Finn Mackay, “A Movement of Their Own: Voices of Young Feminist Activists in the London Feminist Network,” Interface 3, no. 2 (2011): 152–79; Kristin Aune and Rose Holyoak, “Navigating the Third Wave: Contemporary UK Feminist Activists and ‘Third-Wave Feminism,’” Feminist Theory 19, no. 2 (2017): 183–203; Agnieszka Graff, “Lost Between the Waves? The Paradoxes of Feminist Chronology and Activism in Contemporary Poland,” Journal of International Women’s Studies 4, no. 2 (2003): 100–16.
  2. Elżbieta Matynia, “Polish Feminism Between the Local and the Global: A Task of Translation” in Women’s Movements in the Global Era: The Power of Local Feminisms, ed. Amrita Basu (Boulder: Westview, 2010), 202.
  3. Klementyna Suchanow, To jest wojna: Kobiety, fundamentaliści i nowe średniowiecze (Warsaw: Agora, 2020).
  4. Ewa Majewska, “Słaby opór i siła bezsilnych. #CzarnyProtest w Posce 2016,” Praktyka Teoretyczna (2016).
  5. Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS), “Admissibility of Abortion and Protests after the Judgment of Constitutional Tribunal,” Research Reports, no. 153 (2020).
  6. Consultative Council on the National Women’s Strike, “Why Are We Protesting?
  7. “Aborcjoniści jej nienawidzą. Kaja Godek zaatakowana,” Polonia Christiana, October 26, 2020.
  8. “Wtargnięcia na msze, zniszczone elewacje kościołów, zatrzymania. Dane policji,” Polsatnews, October 29, 2020.
  9. Anna Grzymała-Busse, “Poland is a Catholic Country. So Why Are Mass Protests Targeting Churches?,” Washington Post, October 28, 2020.
  10. CBOS, “Religiousness of Young People in Comparison to All Adults,” Research Reports, no. 144 (2021).
  11. Ewa Majewska, “Poland Is in Revolt Against Its New Abortion Ban,” Jacobin Magazine, Oct. 27, 2020.
  12. CBOS, “Admissibility of Abortion and Protests after the Judgment of Constitutional Tribunal”; CBOS, “People Not Voting in Elections,” Research Reports, no. 95 (2015); CBOS, “Acceptability of Abortion in Various Circumstances,” Research Reports, no. 71 (2016).
  13. Lorenzo Bosi, Marco Giugni, and Katrin Uba, “The Consequences of Social Movements: Taking Stock and Looking Forward” in The Consequences of Social Movements, ed. Bosi, Giugni, and Uba (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 3–38; Anna J. Dudek, “Marta Lempart, superbohaterka “WO”: Nie odpalam świecy dymnej do śniadania,” Wysokie Obcasy, 24 May 2021; Edwin Amenta and Francesca Poletta, “The Cultural Impacts of Social Movements,” Annual Review of Sociology 45, no. 1 (2019): 27–99.
  14. Amenta and Polletta, “The Cultural Impacts of Social Movements,” 281; James M. Jasper, The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997); Neila Van Dyke and Verta Taylor, “The Cultural Outcomes of Social Movements,” in The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, ed. David A. Snow, Sarah A. Soule, Hanspeter Kriesi, and Holly J. McCammon (Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2018).
  15. Van Dyke and Taylor, “The Cultural Outcomes of Social Movements.”
  16. Piotr Pacewicz, “Gasnący płomień rewolucji? Nie, złość się odkłada, refleksja kumuluje. STRAJK KOBIET,”, January 14, 2021.
  17. CBOS, “Political Views of Young People,” Research Reports, no. 28 (2021); CBOS, “Visiting Religious Websites and Services—Situation during Pandemic,” Research Reports, 28 (2022).
  18. Aga Kozak, “Młodzież się radykalizuje. Za rekordową liczbę deklaracji lewicowych odpowiada przede wszystkim 40 proc. młodych Polek,” Kobieta, March 17, 2021, available at
  19. Katarzyna Bogdańska, “Jednoznaczny wynik sondażu. To kiepska wiadomość dla PiS,” Wiadomości, December 19, 2021.
2022, Volume 74, Number 06 (November 2022)
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