GESSEL is a permanent legal advisor to the Women’s Congress Association, and Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz is proud to be a member of the Women’s Congress’s programme council and of its audit committee.

The Polish Women’s Congress was established as a civic initiative bringing together women from different professions and milieus – oftentimes representing different world views – for the purpose of recapitulating the contribution made by women to the economic and political transformation of Poland, identifying their most important achievements, and formulating postulates the implementation of which might lead to greater presence of women in the public sphere. The Women’s Congress was held on 20-21 June 2009 at the Sala Kongresowa hall of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw.

Dr Beata Gessel-Kalinowska vel Kalisz, our firm’s managing partner organised and moderated the panel discussion on the role of women in development of the Polish legal system entitled “ How Women Won Justice. Women in the Legal Professions After 1989 ”. This was probably the first undertaking on this scale aiming at comprehensive assessment of the work of women in the legal field, also as regards shaping the legal system and its institutions post-1989. The debate encompassed the position of women in the professions of judge, trial lawyer, attorney, in-house counsel, public prosecution officer, notary public, and law professor, and also women serving on professional self-government bodies and as arbitrators.

The suggestions for future action drawn up in the course of the Congress have provided a basis for a legislative initiative concerning implementation, where possible, of a gender parity formula in elections and institution of the office of an independent Women’s Rights and Equality Ombudsman. GESSEL participated in preparations of the draft of the quotas act.

Our firm also supported organisation of the third edition of the Polish Women’s Congress held at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw on 17-18 September 2011 and devoted to debating the current situation and future perspectives of women in Polish society.