anja rubik joins the abortion law protests in poland
The model and activist talks about the fight for women's rights in her home country.
Photography Amy Troost; Fashion Director Alastair McKimm
Polish activist group Gals for Gals (Dziewuchy Dziewuchom) fights to protect the rights of women and girls, formed in the wake of proposals to completely ban abortion, which is already heavily restricted in the country. Model Anja Rubik has used her profile to lend support to Gals for Gals since it began, and has rounded up her fashion industry friends — including Caroline de Maigret, Constance Jablonski, Milla Jovovich and Abbey Lee Kershaw — to help spread the word and back up Polish women during the Reclaim Choice protests. On International Women's Day Anja joined the latest protest in Warsaw, spending that important day with Polish women and girls, and speaking to the those taking part. i-D Poland caught up with Anja to discuss the major significance of this issue for the women of her home country.
Women's marches were held internationally for IWD. Why did you decide to join the protestors in Warsaw?
For me being here is very important, because I am Polish and I don't want the women in our country to have lesser rights than many women around the world. My family lives here and maybe one day I will decide to come back as well. I cannot imagine living in a place where my rights are restricted. Another reason is the fact that I have supported the Dziewuchy Dziewuchom group since the beginning, and by that I mean the moment when the bill tightening of anti-abortion law was proposed. I can see how bravely Polish women are protesting, demonstrating and fighting for their rights - I wanted to support them.
What was the atmosphere like at the Plac Konstytucji [location of the protest]?
It was amazing! People were really engaged and I could feel the positivity.
What did it feel like to see so many thousands of people so engaged in this issue?
I felt the rush of adrenaline, but on the other hand I felt at one with the crowd. In Poland women still don't support each other often enough, but in that moment I saw all those people there for a common cause and it was beautiful. I felt like a part of this group.
How can we support girls in Poland?
We can do it all the time, even the smallest things count. Most of all let's be nice to each other, stop gossiping and criticising. We need to support each other in every way possible. Girls always have this ingrained sense of competition in them. I don't know how many years we need to change that. Let's make an effort!
Who are your feminist icons?
Betty Friedan, Agnieszka Holland, Michelle Obama — I admire them a lot and I believe in the same values.
What would you like to say to the women of Poland?
I am extremely proud of them. I'm so happy that they protest and participate in demonstrations. Their actions are presented around the world as an example of bravery and mobilisation, even during the speeches of American feminists in Washington.
Text Milena Liebe Basia Czyzewska
Main image: Photography Amy Troost. Fashion Director Alastair McKimm