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The Substantive Representation of Women in Poland

  • Anna Gwiazda (a1)
Abstract

This article examines the substantive representation of women in Poland after the 2015 parliamentary elections. By looking at the case of the Black Protests, in which tens of thousands of demonstrators, wearing black, defended women's rights by protesting a proposed total abortion ban, it revisits the existing approaches to substantive representation. Hanna Pitkin's definition is used as a starting point, but then broader questions concerning women's interests, agents, and sites of representation are considered. This article identifies a variety of interests but argues that in Poland, conservative interests dominate in parliament, although feminist interests are voiced too, especially by nonelected agents in extraparliamentary sites. This article makes an important contribution to the research on women's political representation because it deals with unexplored aspects of representation in Central and Eastern Europe.

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I would like to thank the reviewers for their useful comments on this article. This research was funded by the Noble Foundation's Programme on Modern Poland research grant.

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