Between choice and compulsion - Polish women in the employment structure
Institute of Sociology Nicolaus Copernicus University Torun, Poland
Because of a specific socio-historical context it is worth to give some thought to the fact to what extent the condition of Polish labour market and women´s participation in the employment structure is different in comparison to countries from Western Europe?
In years 1990-1997 Poland was characterized by the passive forms of support which were directed towards unemployed. Polish government tried to ease the effects of unemployment through shorten of the work time, pre-retirement benefits, early retirement or unemployment benefits with other supplementary benefits. From the one side they were to be a kind of support that should enable people to cope with difficult living conditions, while from the other one it was suppose to be a helping hand that would result in changing the status of unemployed into employed.
However, there are many examples of women´s involvement for improving standard of living of their families, at the moment women in Poland are not as vocationally active as men (it can be connected with still remaining traditional model of a family) and the situation is being more and more alarming - labour market research shows that professional activity of women is significantly lower than among men even though Polish employment bureaus have to adhere to the egalitarian policy as far as vocational courses, reskilling and helping with getting back to the labour market is considered.
This paper raises the important issue whether the policy of Polish welfare institutions gives equal chances to unemployed men and women on the one hand, and refers to the matter of an aid paradox on the other.