Polish leader links country’s low birthrate to women drinking alcohol

Polish leader links country's low birthrate to women drinking alcohol
Polish leader links country's low birthrate to women drinking alcohol. Image: astarot/Shutterstock.com

The leader of Poland’s ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has attracted criticism after he claimed that the country’s low birthrate was partly caused by young women drinking too much alcohol.

Kaczynski’s comments were widely condemned by opposition politicians, activists and celebrities. Moreover, some of these critics have in fact pointed to Kaczynski’s own support for policies such as tighter restrictions on abortion which they claimed has contributed to discouraging women from seeking to get pregnant. 

A women’s rights group has expressed their dismay at Kaczynski, 73, placing the blame on women in this way. Following the comments, the Women’s Strike group called on people to protest in front of his Warsaw home on 28 November, the 104th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in Poland. 

Rather than due to a perceived attraction to alcohol, the group stated that there were many reasons for Poland’s low birthrate, including the prohibition of abortion, a lack of access to sexual education and in vitro procedures and economic considerations like inflation and housing shortages. 

Kazcysnki, who is the leader of the populist ruling party Law and Justice, had commented on Saturday that “it is sometimes necessary to say a little openly, some bitter things. If, for example, the situation remains such that, until the age of 25, girls, young women, drink the same amount as their peers, there will be no children.” 

He then went on to claim without any medical proof, that to develop alcoholism, the average man “has to drink excessively for 20 years” but “a woman only two.”

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