Is parity a good thing?

Maria Bobowska

Recently we have quite often heard the word ‘parity’. Especially feminists like it. It is worth looking at their demands concerning the project of a gender parity bill.

In his apostolic letter ‘Mulieris dignitatem’ John Paul II showed the dignity that Christ gave to every man, ‘Christ did everything possible to ensure that – in the context of the customs and social relationships of that time – women would find in his teaching and actions their own subjectivity and dignity. On the basis of the eternal "unity of the two", this dignity directly depends on woman herself, as a subject responsible for herself, and at the same time it is "given as a task" to man (14). For believers the content of the Church’s teaching is not ideas separated from life. During social debates on the legalisation of abortion, refunding contraceptives or introducing gender parity in various areas of social life the problem of personal dignity is most valid and adequate in social life.

Parity vs. priorities

Let us think of the matter of gender parity. It is a product of the feminist ideology, introducing not less than 50% of places for women in electoral lists by virtue of a gender parity bill. According to feminists it is a mechanism to struggle against women’s discrimination.
In his speech delivered at the cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University on 7 November 2007 (available at Fr Marek Dziewiecki said that every form of feminism presumed a conflict between man and woman. One can say that gender parity is exactly a certain struggle between the sexes. It presumes that men discriminate women and consequently, it is a struggle for women’s rights and dignity. What rights and what kind of dignity?
In their demands the feminists of the Polish Women’s Congress (, that worked out the project of a parity bill, opt for full legalisation of abortion, refunding contraceptives from the state budget and appointing numerous spokeswomen for women and equality, including offices on the regional level. Are these the problems of most women in Poland? It seems to me one could find quite a number of priorities.
The first priority that comes to my mind is the paid maternity leave and subsidies for families with one working parent. It is to reflect on the fate of a mother (parent) of disabled children who get poor grants from the state budget for life and care of their children. Additionally, it is the increase in number of nurseries and pre-schools, which is almost a populistic demand. Moreover, is the idea to appoint a spokeswoman for women’s equality not some multiplication of administration and bureaucracy? Occam’s razor seems to go blunt and forgotten.

Feminists’ claims

One should also look at the values that the feminists follow. The ideas promoted by the Polish Women’s Congress do not only concern adoption rights for couples, exactly speaking, rights for relationships, homosexual couples or refunding the sex change for transexuals. Some claims that the feminists present are mutually contradictory. We can read about some demands that have been published on their web site, ‘To secularise schools and public life; to liquidate discrimination because of confession or its lack’, then they add, ‘to advance the works on the bill concenring the attitude of the state towards Muslims in Poland and ensure support for upbringing and religious education of Muslim children.’ Is it not a hidden struggle with one religion – Christianity or rather the institution that represents it – the Catholic Church in Poland? Unlike the issue of minorities (which is probably the problem concerning the whole society and not women alone) the authors of the demands did not say a word about the necessity of helping mothers with disabled children (e.g. to transport children to schools).
One should consider whether the feminists and the Polish Women’s Congress really struggle for the good and for solutions of women’s problems or rather, and perhaps first of all, it is an expression and promotion of the left-wing ideology and political demands. For instance, why do the demands not include research concerning the psychological consequences of abortion and why do they contain only ‘national research on the effects of the present law allowing a possibility of abortion for physical and psychological health of women’? Does that reflect the expectations of all women in our country?

‘No’ for the bill

Within the framework of opposition against the gender parity bill the open letter entitled ‘We do not want parities!’ was prepared. Its authors include Dr. Monika Michaliszyn, a specialist in the Baltic Studies at Warsaw University, Boguslawa Radziwon, director and owner of the Publishing House ‘Trio’, and Dr. Barbara Fedyszak-Radziejowska, a sociologist at Warsaw Technical University.
The women who opposed the idea of artificial division on the electoral lists created a webpage, which includes the open letter, anti-parity decalogue, seven mortal sins of parities, commentaries and articles. In order not to become indifferent towards the attempts to manipulate the Polish society you can sign the open letter, expressing your dissatisfaction about the idea to introduce the gender parity bill.
The main arguments against the parities of the authors of are based on the fact that parities are: anti-democratic – belittle the achievements of individuals; anti-women – exclude women from rightful citizens of the Republic of Poland; unsocial – the debate results from the percentage of participation of a given group in society and not from the content-related arguments and finally, non-modern – parities contradict the idea of free choice.

What’s next?

Exactly – free choice. How long will we enjoy our decisions, not being forced to function in the vision of the world that the feminist-leftish environments impose? Certainly the introduction of the gender parity bill will begin further demands of the feminists, especially that the clever ladies will do that under the pretext of struggling for women’s equality and that can lead to cultural and political change of Poland into a secular-left-wing state?
We are responsible for our subjectivity, which in the life of each women should be understood as a free choice between fulfilment in her role as mother or/and in her professional life. The feminist fantasies rather want to reduce the woman’s aspect as a mother to minimum and convince women that the sense of their lives is to become identical with men. That’s why we have the claim of gender parity. Politics is another field in which participation has to ennoble women and make them feel worthy. But do we, women, believe that and, what is more important, do we really want that?

"Niedziela" 11/2010

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: