Women have always been creatively present in science and art, although the process of regaining knowledge about their contribution to the history of human thought is still ongoing. Equal attention should be paid to the achievements of women in contemporary scientific, artistic and public life. Women researchers, scientists, experts, artists and activists are involved in all scientific fields and in all areas of social life.
Within the Academic Consortium Katowice City of Science, we want to create equal opportunities for all people and we listen carefully to the voices of those who pay attention to important scientific and social issues. For this reason, we are publishing a letter emphasising the role of women in the Silesian public space, with particular focus on the academic and social spheres. We want to support women’s efforts to increase their presence and visibility in science, art and other areas of social life.
At the end of the letter there is a reference to the list of women mentioned by the authors who declared their willingness to participate in projects organised by members of the Academic Consortium Katowice City of Science. As experts, they can join the group of speakers or organisers of events taking place, among others, as part of the Silesian Science Festival KATOWICE or during the celebrations of the European City of Science 2024.
We would like to thank the authors of the letter for this important voice. We appreciate your work and commitment. We also count on cooperating with you! We encourage everyone to read the letter and the list and benefit from the knowledge of women experts.
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Katowice, 14 November 2023
His Magnificence Rector
Prof. Ryszard Koziołek
in Katowice and the Silesian Voivodeship, women are less often invited to participate in public discussions and their activities are less visible.
There are fewer of us women at debates, lectures, cultural and scientific events. There are plenty of such examples. One could start by analysing positions in public institutions, reviewing the Upper Silesian Pantheon or looking at the organisation of panels at the European Economic Congress, as well as the Opening Spectacle of the European City of Science 2024.
The purpose of our letter is not to provide a detailed diagnosis of these inequalities, but to provide a functional list that already includes over 160 women. All of them added their names to it within a few days, which shows the scale of the problem, but also the potential and readiness to cooperate. This is our first step towards indicating that changes in regards to equality policy are also necessary in the Silesian Voivodeship.
The list – which is still under construction, as more women are added to it every day – includes artists, academics, experts in various fields, activists and researchers. Many of them achieve international success (e.g. World Press Photo, Oscar list, Booker Prize list) or national success (e.g. Paszporty Polityka, Wisława Szymborska Award, Conrad Award, Gombrowicz Award, title of one of the best women lawyers in business by Forbes Women in 2022, Gdynia Drama Award, 25 under 25 by Forbes magazine). We play concerts, create films, organise lectures, publish books, write scripts and conduct research that is presented all over the world. We are directors of international events (e.g. Music Meeting in the Netherlands) and we run institutions, including those outside the Silesian Voivodeship (e.g. National Museum in Prague), because even though we come from here, we do not always get the opportunity to realise our potential locally. Despite this, we are involved in the local life of our communities because we care about our immediate surroundings. We run our own organisations, but we also work voluntarily and socially, with people from various groups, including the excluded ones. We organise workshops, courses, teach at academies, run schools and community projects.
That is why our list is open and inclusive, because we believe that it is not about the position of power (including the one built through awards, distinctions, prestige), but above all about the competences that we all undoubtedly possess. Our strength lies in the diversity of our experiences and the potential for cooperation. This is also because we come from different parts of the Silesian Voivodeship and for years we have been creating local cooperation networks there for culture, education, nature, science and equality.
The social energy of women creates the diversity of the region and the directions of its development. It is impossible to think about its future without us. Therefore, we expect you to include us in events organised in your institutions (e.g. by including women’s participation in the form of quotas in debates) and in the entities subordinated to them.
Our list is a ready-made tool that facilitates the organisation of activities with the participation of women, but we hope that you will also seek and draw from the knowledge and competences of women related to our region on your own. We do not agree to our activities being invisible.
This is the first step in a series of actions that we will implement in the near future. The social group, consisting of twelve women from different parts of the voivodeship, which addresses the cover letter, will also undertake to organise an agenda for equality policies, about which we will keep you informed on an ongoing basis. We will also conduct research and organise local meetings. We cannot imagine activities in this area without the participation of public entities whose duty is to include women in the activities organised.
With best regards,
- Anna Cieplak (Dąbrowa Górnicza/Mysłowice)
- Małgorzata Tkacz-Janik (Gliwice/Katowice)
- Karolina Jakoweńko (Bytom/Będzin)
- Sylwia Góra (Częstochowa)
- Joanna Wowrzeczka (Cieszyn)
- Anna Dęboń (Dąbrowa Górnicza)
- Agnieszka Bugno-Janik (Gliwice)
- Anna Jach Falkiewicz (Sosnowiec/Cieszyn)
- Ewa Surowiec (Bytom)
- Paulina Jasińska (Piekary Śląskie)
- Magdalena Madzia (Bielsko- Biała, Cieszyn, Żywiec)
- Arnika Kluska (Katowice)
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to the list of women: women – Silesian Voivodeship – Google Docs (as of 14 November 2023)