Poland’s new liberal government to introduce a Ministry of Equality, according to media reports

Szymon Holownia, left, head of the Poland 2050 party; Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, head of the Polish People's Party; Donald Tusk, center, head of the Civic Coalition; Wlodzimierz Czarzasty, a co-chairman of the New Left party; and Robert Biedron, the other co-chairman of the New Left, sign a coalition agreement, in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

According to unofficial sources, the new government under Donald Tusk is set to restructure the existing Ministry of Family and Social Policy. TVN24 television reported the possibility of creating two new ministries: the Ministry for Senior Policy and the Ministry of Equality.

Marzena Okła-Drewnowicz, a Civic Platform (PO) member, is slated to head the former, while Katarzyna Kotula from the New Left is expected to lead the Ministry of Equality.

When asked about this matter on TVN24, Kotula gave an evasive response. She suggested that the public “wait” until Tusk announces the government lineup, expressing hope that “women’s issues and rights will be important for Donald Tusk’s government.” She also noted that currently, “the role of commissioner for equality, as well as actions related to violence and discrimination, is within the Ministry of Family and Social Policy.”

She added, however, that it is difficult to comment on the achievements of the commissioner from the Law and Justice Party (PiS).

Shortly after the recent parliamentary elections, Katarzyna Kotula declared that the Civic Coalition (KO) agrees with her party’s priorities for the new government, including on issues such as abortion and free contraception.

Piotr Zgorzelski from the Polish People’s Party (PSL) also commented on the issue. In an interview with Polsat News TV channel, he suggested that he hadn’t heard about the idea of creating a Ministry of Equality at a recent meeting of the future government coalition. He opined that such a proposal might be “overdone.”

“For now, I treat it as a piece of news that does not require a response. Do you see any great need for creating such a ministry, that there are some irregularities regarding equality? I don’t see them. If there are, surely there are appropriate bodies to react,” said Zgorzelski.

The potential restructuring of the ministries has been criticized by PiS’s leading politician and current minister of defense, Mariusz Błaszczak. He argued that the Ministry of Family in the PiS government has long dealt with equality: leveling the playing field for the less fortunate and creating foundations for improving quality of life in Poland. He highlighted that without this ministry, benefit programs like 800+ and the 13th and 14th pensions would not exist.

“The idea of abolishing it and replacing it with a ‘ministry of equality’ is a mockery of Polish families. The only goal is to create a financial haven for various kinds of ideological fanatics,” Błaszczak stated on social media.

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