Discussion"Gender politics could serve as a bridge between traditional segments of society and the new state seeking legitimacy in a hostile environment.“
With these words Małgorzata Fidelis describes why the Polish People’s Republic imposed new restrictions on working women, such as banning them from underground work after the end of Stalinism in Poland.Especially during the late Polish People's Republic, the focus increasingly shifted towards an image of women that primarily emphasized their role as mothers and not as a working women. This paper discusses the long term (dis)continuities of governments’ narratives in relation to women's work. I am particularly interested in the question of whether the so-called transformation from a planned to a free market economy as well as from an authoritarian to a democratic political system has fundamentally changed the situation of women in the labour market.My hypothesis is that arguments based on biological, national-Catholic or demographic constructs and considerations were more decisive for the question of whether women could participate equally in the labour market than the arguments based on the economic and political system.
In this paper, I will present my first chapter dealing with the historical continuities of the images of women in Poland and the results of my previous research.