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Page Title


Country, Date of election

Poland 1996


Economic development

Barbara Baran wyzwalają siłę ekonomiczną Polek w średnim wieku w postkomunistycznej Polsce poprzez tworzenie krajowego ruchu samopomocy, który zapewnia wsparcie emocjonalne i zachętę, wzorce, szkolenia umiejętności i możliwość zatrudnienia. Jej Stowarzyszenie Kobiet Polskich po 40-tce skierowane jest do kobiet po 40-tce jako ważnego czynnika polskiej gospodarki, który jest obecnie niedoceniany lub ignorowany przez polskiego środowiska biznesu zdominowanym przez mężczyzn.


In communist Poland full employment was legally guaranteed and women who left the workforce to raise families were able to return to their former employment basically when they chose. With the transition to a market economy, several factors have combined to make it extremely difficult for women in the economy. The former guarantees are gone and women not in jobs have no rights to employment. In fact, market restructuring has meant many factory closings and company „downsizing,” with women bearing a disproportionate share of the consequences. In seeking work, women over 40 are commonly discriminated against in favor of men and younger women. The regrettable result is that, according to reasonable estimates, unemployment among women between 40 and 60 is over 30 percent and in many areas over 50 percent. Compounding the structural and discriminatory barriers that they face, women over 40 often lack the new skills demanded by the competitive market economy and are psychologically ill-disposed to acquire them. They have never known an environment other than that of guaranteed employment. Basic things like interview and presentation skills are completely foreign. Moreover, women have been socialized to believe that their primary roles are to be good wives and mothers, and that they have little value outside the home. Consequently, women whose children have grown and left home frequently suffer from depression and low self-esteem.


Barbara Baran is unleashing the economic power of middle-age Polish women for post-Communist Poland by creating a national self-help movement that provides emotional support and encouragement, role models, skills training and job opportunities. Her Society for Women Over 40 targets a potentially major contributor to the Polish economy currently undervalued or ignored by the male-dominated Polish business community. „It is amazing,” says Barbara, „to watch middle-age women blossom and grow into first-class entrepreneurs once they are given the proper training and a little guidance.” Most women come to the Society via seminars on management, interviewing techniques, securing start-up capital and other related employment and self-employment skills. Barbara recruits successful businesswomen to teach these courses and act as pro bono mentors and counselors, building a role model component into the training function. Barbara’s main objective is to create an environment in which women feel empowered and build their self-esteem. She believes that this is a critical first step in triggering a release in creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit. From this base, the Society teaches business and self-employment skills, builds self-confidence, provides job placement services, operates businesses itself and publicizes its vision of women over 40 throughout society.


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Stowarzyszenie Kobiet Polskich po 40-tce

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