Demonstrators protest in Poland on Women's Day
PR dla Zagranicy
Around 2,000 people gathered in Warsaw to demand pay equality, sex education in schools and relaxed abortion laws as Poland marked International Women's Day on Thursday.
Demonstrators in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński
A counter-rally featuring anti-abortion and nationalist groups was also held in Warsaw.
Warsaw police spokesman Sylwester Marczak said the demonstrations were peaceful.
The culmination of the women's march in Warsaw featured an unveiling of a temporary monument to Polish women fighters, which the protest organisers said was a symbol of women who fought for "independence, solidarity and sisterhood".
"We dedicate it to Polish women, Ukrainian women, American women, Syrian women, Iranian women, refugee women, migrant women, and all women fighters," the organisers said from a stage.
They also read a manifesto which included demands for women to be allowed to terminate pregnancies, for sexual education classes in schools, for government-subsidised contraception and in-vitro treatment, for a ban on doctors and pharmacists denying services due to their personal beliefs, for pay equality, and for measures against domestic violence.
About 300 people also marched in the northern city of Gdańsk, carrying banners which read "If you don't like abortions, don't have one", "women are not incubators" and "stop violence against women" and chanted "freedom, equality, solidarity".
Police separated this protest from a counter-rally which featured posters with images of foetuses after being terminated.
Two hundred people took part in an event in the central city of Łódź which featured a crocheted banner about a dozen metres in length which read "sisterhood".
Fewer than a hundred people gathered in the eastern city of Lublin, where a petition was circulated to have a street named "100 years of [Polish] women's voting rights".
Kraków also saw hundreds of people take part in a women's rights demonstration and an anti-abortion counter-rally, both of which were peaceful. (vb/pk)