“Meeting for a coffee and some gossip is no longer enough for us. We have created a social organization and we feel our agency”
Village Housewives’ Association “Łapianka na obcasach” was created when neighbors from a village in Podlasie region felt they wanted to do more than be wives, mothers and housewives – for themselves and for others. There are 15 of them – each one, singularly peculiar – and they emphasize that diversity is their asset. The association supports the local women’s community and promotes the achievements of the local activists. They try to get women out of their houses and make them mentally stronger, help them find their power. “We try – as much as it is possible in such a backwater place – to raise awareness that the social roles of men and women are not caused by nature, that girls don’t have to give up their plans and aspirations. (…) We have experienced our mobilization and we see ourselves as a social group with agency”, they say.
Safe haven – a place of power and help
The association suffers from a lack of space – a restaurant, bar or club – where women could meet and talk. They know that is especially painfully felt by those who experience violence. “It happens on summer days that from the open windows you hear the shouting of an aggressive man and a crying woman”, say the village women angrily and they state: enough!
Using the minigrant, they want to create a women’s safe space in the local community center. “We want to organize a place open for women, where every girl will be able to take refuge from “housework”, relax and recharge. Find shelter in a crisis. Meet a psychologist, lawyer, masseur; have coffee, chill, invite some great gal and listen about her activities. Where they will feel valued, receive support and a motivation to act”.
The women from Łapy need equipment for the club: cupboards, new lamps, seats, a sign for the building, “so that the girls know where to find us”, and a banner to walk around with. They want to buy all that with funds from the Feminist Fund grant. They don’t worry about the rest – they can organize meetings for girls and women on their own and will manage the renovations. What about resentment towards feminists? “We know very well how to present FemFund’s ideas in a way that is acceptable in a village in Podlasie”, laugh the housewives from Łapy.
Grant amount: PLN 4.400
Photo and images credit: Ewelina Roszkowska, KGW „Łapianka na obcasach”