Reflections on II Congress of Polish Women

The congress had a very “European” and feminine feel to it. Now, the excitement has worn off, we can say we did a good job and we are full of satisfaction and plenty of ideas for next year.
The motto of our II Congress, And you too have Europe inside you – wake Her up! conveyed the message we wanted to address to thousands of Polish women in the UK. The Congress also marked a special day, in May 2014 it is 10 years since Poland joined the EU. What does this mean for us? On the one hand, plenty of opportunities, on the other – challenges of life in another country.

Such was the main subject of the panel discussions which took place during the first day of our event. The Congress enjoyed the support of Witold Sobków, H.E. Ambassador in London, who not only graced us with his presence and officially opened the Congress, but also let us use the Polish Embassy building as a venue.

We discussed everything that was important to us – the way others perceive us, and the way we would like to be; advantages and disadvantages of our work; the way Polish business women cope with life in the UK; our most common health problems and how to deal with them.

 

One of the most unique and “European” key points of our panel discussions concerned Polish women in other EU countries. On the other hand, the gender theory, presented by our special guests, prof. Malgorzata Fuszara and prof. Magdalena Sroda was simply the icing on the cake.
We also had the pleasure of nominating three Polish Women of the Year 2014: Marta Grzelak, Margaret Kiszelka and Ewa Gluza.

For the second day of the Congress we organised a networking ball, which took place in the beautiful building of the Polish social and cultural centre in London, Ognisko Polskie. The funds raised from the event were used to finance courses and workshops for our fellow-countryman in London and the surrounding areas.

 

Organising such an event required a huge amount of work. The Congress would not have happened if it wasn’t for a group of Polish women who believe they can inspire other women towards development. We were very pleased to hear from the Congress’ participants that there was a demand for such events and that, in their opinion, they should be organised more often. Unfortunately, we received very little attention from the Polish media this year and we all know how difficult it is to promote ideas without media support. The more grateful we were to our Sponsors and everyone who believed in us and supported us for the second time round.
One thing we know for sure: Congress of Polish Women will be held again next year! Please follow us on Facebook
As a concluding remark we would like to paraphrase a quote from the Polish cult film Sexmission: “The United Kingdom of Polish Women defends and advises, and it will never betray you!”