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Setting Boundaries - empowering workshops for women 


In the current political situation, which due to women’s equality backlashes continues also to disempower women by objectifying their bodies, there is an urgent need of passing on knowledge about setting boundaries and allowing one to express their sexuality as a subject, not an object. In Poland female sexuality still comes secondary to male’s and it is about time to change it, proclaims Magdalena Nowacka, a certified sex educator and anti-discrimination trainer, as well as women’s rights activist and a Fellow of  the 2021 HIA Warsaw Fellowship/Academy of Human Rights. She strongly believes in education that consists of not only warnings but also shows that women have a right to pursue their sexuality on their own terms. In her Action Project she hopes to tackle the issue of boundary setting and to strengthen assertive communication.

Magdalena wants to conduct a series of workshops for women of all ages, in groups tailored to their needs and experience. The sessions will cover subjects like sex education, boundary setting and exploration of one’s needs. She envisions 4 workshops – 2 for adolescent girls and 2 for mature women, lasting about 8 hours and consisting of different intra-  and interpersonal exercises. Between different tasks, participants will have a space to discuss subjects connected to the workshops’ theme and share their experiences. For this reason, workshops will be guided by two female psychologists experienced in working with survivors of gender-based violence.

After each workshop, Magdalena will gather feedback from participants and evaluate to improve the formula. The final product of the Action Project will be a short manual with the instructions, a sort of roadmap on how to carry out workshops on setting boundaries and personal needs in the spirit of women’s equality and antidiscrimination. The manual will be as practical as possible, focused on providing step-by-step instruction for potential coaches.

Having already conducted these kinds of workshops in the past, she knows – based on the positive feedback – how necessary are such initiatives. However, these are not the topics raised often in schools or even by the NGOs dedicated to women.

In making the manual free and accessible, she hopes to encourage more trainers to organize such workshops and to increase the range of sexual and anti discriminatory education.

Working for the Gdańsk chapter of the Women’s Rights Centre, she hopes to partner with them. The target group will be women benefiting from the support of the centre, but also those interested in the workshop who will receive the information. The target group for the manual will be employees of non-governmental organizations, psychologists in social and psychological support centres, teachers, trainers and everyone willing to undertake such a task. Conducting the workshop requires a financial contribution, for which she will apply from FemFund that has financed similar initiatives in the past.