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Poland's transition and new opportunities for women

By Bozena Leven

Abstract

Since 1990, marketization has fundamentally altered Poland's economy. Like many former Soviet bloc countries, Polish prices, wages, and foreign trade have been liberalized, and many state assets are now privatized. Independent central banks, commercial banking systems, and stock exchanges have been formed, and the taxation and legal systems have been restructured to support a market economy. The dominant view is that this process should benefit most Poles over time. For Polish women, however, the first phase of economic transition was a mixed blessing. This paper explores their experiences in between 1990 and 2003 and discusses two positive, mutually supportive ways that Polish women have benefited during transition: First, the segmentation of the labor market has positioned women advantageously in the country's key financial sector and entrepreneurial ranks. Second, women have benefited from the growth of a women's movement. Together, these two processes can be expected to accelerate the pace of positive changes for Polish women.Poland, transition, labor market segmentation, women in the labor market, JEL Codes: J16, J1, P20,

DOI identifier: 10.1080/13545700701716631
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