770.4 Socio-economic consequences of professional activity of women. A case of Poland

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 4:45 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Elzbieta Anna CZAPKA , Philosophy and Sociology Department , Marie Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Izabela LUCJAN , Philosophy and Sociology Department, Marie Curie-Sklodowska University , Lublin, Poland
The transformations of Polish society resulting from the adaptation to the requirements of market economy and the accession to EU made it necessary to develop specific strategies to come with new social reality. Systemic transformation covered not only political and economic sphere, but also changes in social awareness of the inhabitants of Poland.

Women constitute this social category that was influenced by the consequences of the changes in 1990’s to the greatest extend. Genuine threat of unemployment among men – frequently the only breadwinners in a family – led to a change of attitudes, including the increase of women’s professional activities. Extending the time of education, increasing professional qualifications and taking full time jobs caused changes in the structure and the size of a family. Women who decided to be active in their professions and to be ready for life-long learning not only limit the time to have their first baby, but also postpone their motherhood. Another milestone was the accession of Poland to European Union and the opening of European labour markets  for the citizens of new member states. Additionally, the prospects of having a legal and well-paid job encouraged Polish women to seek better life abroad. Consequently, the change of women’s mind-frame and behaviour made Poland the country with one of the lowest fertility rate in Europe in the last few years (1.28 in 2010). Demographic forecasts indicate constant deterioration of this negative phenomenon. Statistical data clearly show systematic decrease of the number of Poles and the ageing of the society. It is worth to emphasise that the actions taken by the governments concerning social and pro-family policy seem to be insufficient, inaccurate and unsuccessful. The proposed financial and legal solutions of employment flexibility and the help in childcare appear to be not attractive enough for Polish women.