Understanding low fertility in Poland
After the state socialist regime of Poland collapsed in 1989, the nationâ€™s total fertility rate plummeted from 2.1 to 1.27 by 2007. Simultaneously, Poland severely reduced social service provisions and restricted access to family planning. A three-month mixed-methods research study was conducted in 2007 in GdaÅ„sk to investigate Polish womenâ€™s reproductive intentions and decision making. These data reveal that discriminatory practices by employers against pregnant women and women with small children are decisive in womenâ€™s decisions to postpone or forego childbearing. The case of Poland demonstrates the urgent need to redress fundamental gendered discrimination in employment before work-family reconciliation policies can be effective.
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