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Cablegate: Poland - 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

VZCZCXRO7446
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHWR #1425/01 3511307
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161307Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7502
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WARSAW 001425

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

G/IWI for Andrea Bottner
IIP/P for EHart

E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PREL KPAO PHUM OPPI SCUL PL
SUBJECT: Poland - 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence

REF: (A) STATE 104830, (B) STATE 125694

1. (U) Summary. Mission Poland actively participated in the 2008
international campaign "16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based
Violence" by raising awareness of the problem through a series of
profiles posted on Embassy Warsaw's website of individuals and
institutions actively working against gender-based violence in
Poland. The campaign culminated in a DCM-hosted lunch, which
celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and furthered the development of a women's rights
network in Poland. End Summary.

2. (U) U.S. Embassy sponsored a campaign to raise awareness of the
problem of violence against women in Poland. The campaign began on
November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence
Against Women (Ref A), and concluded on December 10, the 60th
Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Ref B).
Embassy Warsaw and Consulate Krakow collectively assembled a list of
individuals who are active in combating gender-based violence in
Poland, including national government officials, artists, NGOs
leaders, and academics, and invited them to respond to five specific
questions. Based on their responses, we posted the profile of a
different activist each day at the top of the Embassy website during
the "16 Days" campaign. The results are fascinating individual
profiles and a collective snap shot of the contemporary situation of
women in Poland, what has been done, and their hopes for the future.


3. (U) Our campaign culminated with a DCM-hosted lunch on December
10, to correspond with the 60th anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and as a way of emphasizing that human
rights are women's rights. The gathering included a lively
discussion among some of the individuals profiled and
representatives of their organizations. The lunch was also attended
by editors from Poland's leading newspapers Rzeczpospolita and
Gazeta Wyborcza's Wysokie Obsacy (a weekly section on women's
issues).

4. (U) The 16 individuals and institutions profiled were as
follows:

Day 1: Manuela Gretkowska, Writer and founder of the Women's Party

Day 2: Renata Durda, Head of the National Emergency Center for
Victims of Domestic Violence, also known as "Blue Line"

Day 3: Malgorzata Tarasiewicz, Director of the NEWW Association
(Network of East-West Women) in Gdansk

Day 4: Monika Ksieniewicz, Coordinator for International Cooperation
in the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy's Department of Women,
Family and Combating Discrimination

Day 5: Marta Lewandowska, Chairperson of OPTA Association

Day 6: Iwona Wisniewska, Director of the Center for Victims of
Violence in Krakow

Day 7: Joanna Piotrowska, President of Feminoteka Foundation

Day 8: Agata Zakrzewska, Director of Women's Right Center in Lodz

Day 9: Dorota Krzyszton, Coordinator for the Ombudsman's program of
Assistance for Victims of Violence

Day 10: Stana Buchowska, Director and Co-Founder of LaStrada,
Poland

Day 11: Grazyna Pisarczyk, Head of Specialist Center for Victims of
Domestic Violence in Kielce

Day 12: Joanna Szurlej, President of "Our Chance" Association of
Bieszczady Women and the Director of the Specialized Support Center
"SOS" in Lesko for victims of domestic violence

Day 13: Beata Gruszczynska,Criminologist, University of Warsaw,
Coordinator of the International Violence against Women Survey
(IVAWS) in Poland

Day 14: Beata Kozak, Editor in chief of feminist magazine Zadra and
a member of eFKa Women's Foundation in Krakow

Day 15: Urszula Nowakowska, Chairperson of Women's Rights Center

Day 16: Janina Ochojska, President and Founder of the Polish
Humanitarian Organization (PHO)

Their "profiles" and response can be accessed on Embassy Warsaw's
webpage at the following address:

WARSAW 00001425 002 OF 002


http://poland.usembassy.gov/embassy-events/
violence-against-women---
16-days-of-activism-against-gender-based-viol ence.html

5. (SBU) Comment: Violence against women is a serious problem in
Poland and there are a number of NGOs who are actively engaged in
the struggle to treat victims of violence and prevent further acts
of violence against women. Some of the names of the organizations
who participated in our campaign are very well-known in Poland.
Nevertheless, there is currently not a unified approach or forum for
addressing this issue among the diverse NGOs and government bodies.
Most of the representatives who gathered at the DCM-hosted lunch did
not know each other personally yet. We forged a virtual community
of activists through the 16 profiles, which was followed by the
personal contact at the lunch. We predict that this network
development among the individuals and institutions will be the most
long-lasting benefit of the campaign.

6. (U) The issues that women in Poland are struggling against are
not unique. In order to have an even broader impact, Mission Poland
recommends that IIP make the profiles available to other Eastern
Partnership countries in their own languages. These honest
portraits from Poland may be an inspiration to activists and
institutions in neighboring countries to face their own problem with
violence against women with the same candor. End Comment.

ASHE

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