Donald Tusk, the leader of the Polish opposition party Civic Platform, has said that Polish women are being “crushed” by political leaders who increasingly “remind me more of ayatollahs and mullahs in Iran”.
Tusk’s criticism, reported by Polsat news, relates to comments made by the leader of the populist right-wing political party Law and Justice, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who on Saturday 5 November linked Poland’s low birth rate with women liking to drink alcohol.
Kaczynski had claimed that if the Polish state allowed women to drink the same amount as men until they were 25, there would end up being no children born in the country.
In response, Tusk said that since the comments were made the only topic of conversation had been about how Polish women were being treated by the authorities. He stated that the comments were so ridiculous that “laughing might seem like the only sensible reaction”.
The former President of the European Council, Tusk, then went on to say of the Law and Justice party that “we have a party of men in power today who hate women, and perhaps a party of men who fear women above all”.
However, despite this frustration, Tusk did acknowledge that Poland does have a demographic issue in terms of the number of children being born. The Civic Platform leader linked this problem to the fact that the current government has created a situation which has made parenthood undesirable.
He also reflected on how when he had previously been leader of Poland, his government had introduced the longest paid maternity and paternity leave in Europe and established the largest number of nurseries and kindergartens.
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