POLAND: On Monday, Jaroslaw Kaczyski, the head of the governing party, sparked outrage by claiming that young women’s excessive drinking was to blame for Poland’s low birthrate.
The 73-year-old was criticized as being out of touch and patriarchal by opposition lawmakers, female celebrities, and others, who also dismissed his remarks as nonsense.
Over the weekend, Kaczyski made contentious assertions.
There won’t be any children, Kaczyski predicted on Saturday, if the current trend of young women drinking as much as men their age up until the age of 25 is allowed to continue.
“A man, to become an alcoholic, has to drink excessively for 20 years on average … while a woman needs only two years.”
The leader of the right-wing Law and Justice party, who is childless, said that the doctor who provided the information “managed to cure a third of his male alcoholic patients, but no women” was the source of information.
Because “a woman has to mature into a mother,” Kaczyski continued, he opposed women having children at an early age.
He jokingly added, “But that doesn’t bode well for the birthrate if she hits the bottle till the age of 25.”
Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, a lawmaker on the left, called Kaczynski “a patriarchal old geezer” and dismissed the remarks as “rubbish.”
She told reporters on Monday, “We could, of course, laugh about this, make memes out of it, but it’s a serious, tragic matter.”
On Instagram, Robert Lewandowski’s wife Anna added her two cents, writing: ” ‘ENOUGH’ It makes me angry when I see politicians accusing women unfairly instead of recognizing the real problem.”
Critics claimed that Polish women were reluctant to have children for both practical and fearful reasons, including the PiS’s new restrictions on abortion.
Scheuring-Wielgus declared that the PiS government in Poland was hostile to women and families.
According to official figures, there are currently little over 1.3 children born to each woman, which is less than both the average birthrate for the EU and the generational renewal criterion.
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