Young girls in female dominated Polish village battle gender stereotypes

TVN24 News in English


As Miejsce Odrzańskie village's volunteer fire brigade members stand for roll call, they are not only preparing to fight fires - they are also fighting gender stereotypes.

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The trainee volunteer brigade is made up of only girls, which is not uncommon in the southern Polish village. Miejsce Odrzańskie is experiencing a demographic mystery - no boys have been born there in almost a decade. The village has become famous for the phenomenon both in local and international media.

With women greatly outnumbering men, the village's females are being trained at young ages to do what are traditionally perceived as male roles in Poland. Maja Golasz is the youngest member of the fire fighting team at just two and a half years old. Her mother, Aldona Golasz told Reuters her father and husband both fought fires for a living and so would her daughter.

During their training drills, the girls learn how to fight fires and perform first aid - often using teddy bears as their props.

"There are no boys, so the women need to do the job," said volunteer firefighter Oliwia Filipczak.

The village has less than 300 residents and no boys have been born there since 2010, according to county mayor Rajmund Frischko, he is now offering a prize to parents who have a son.

The girls, however, aren't letting the lack of men stand in their way of achieving their goals - "One of my dreams is, of course, getting a husband, but our main dream is to get a new fire engine," said teenage volunteer firefighter Sabina Blama.

Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters TV