October 3 2016 was a rainy Monday and a day on which Polish women united for the first time to reject an anti-abortion bill proposal. The bill was about to be discussed by parliament – it was suggesting that a pregnant woman or her doctor be penalized if they were to endanger a pregnancy and also that abortion be deemed illegal in case of rape.
Around 100,000 women dressed in black on that memorable Monday and either went on strike or worked dressed in black.
Many offices, cafes and businesses were closed or operating with male staff only. At 3:30 P.M., hiding under umbrellas from heavy rain, women congregated in front of Warsaw’s Royal Castle to protest. No one expected so many would come. The strike was a success as just three days later the ruling party rejected the bill it was previously supporting.
You can listen to my interview for BBC World Service’s Newshour below.