Black Monday: Polish Women Won’t Be Working Today - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Black Monday: Polish Women Won’t Be Working Today

Published October 3, 2016

Jóhanna Pétursdóttir
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Today over 250 people are coming together at Austurvöllur to protest a new law that has been approved by the government in Poland that virtually bans abortion in that country.

The government in Poland wants to make the current law on abortions complicated enough that it would be nearly impossible to get an abortion. As such, women around the world are protesting the legislation today, dubbing this day Black Monday.

“How the law is put up now, it seems as if women will always be criminals when having an abortion, whether it is caused by rape, miscarriage or any other reason that might leave a woman no other choice than abortion,” says Justyna Grosel, member of the Polish movement against the legislation, Gals 4 Gals.

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This movement started in Poland last March, and is now still trying to have some impact on how abortion is handled in the country. In less than a year, the organization has spread to many other countries, including Iceland.

The protests are held here in Iceland due in large part to Iceland’s feminist traditions, such as how women staged a nationwide strike in 1975. Gals 4 Gals propose a similar work stoppage for Black Monday.

The group hopes to raise awareness about the problem by bringing everyone together at Austurvöllur today at 17:30, with the additional intent of exerting external pressure on the Icelandic government to do the same towards the Polish government.


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