Irena Sendler Winner of Plebiscite for “Warsaw Woman of the Century”

Redakcja / Editorial staff / English translation: Andrew Rajcher, 31st October 2018
To mark the 100th anniversary of women's electoral rights in Poland and the 100th anniversary of the Poland regaining independence, the capital city of Warsaw organised a plebiscite aimed at honouring women who have served the city. The titles of “Warsaw Woman of the Year” and “Warsaw Woman of the Century” were presented during a gala on 25th October at the Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Theatre Studio.

In opening the event, Warsaw Mayor, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz said:

Over 20,000 votes were cast for the “Warsaw Woman of the Year” and for “Warsaw Woman of the Century”. It was a great result which shows the involvement of the community and confirms the need for such initiatives. I am particularly proud of the fact that this plebiscite took place on the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in Poland. In this plebiscite, we have women who have changed, for the better, the reality which surrounds us. Let's support them and draw an example from them. I hope that this wonderful initiative will continue in the years that follow because, after all, Warsaw is a woman.

The title of “2018 Warsaw Woman of the Year” was awarded to Anna Ojer – social activist and founder of the “SOS – Mieszkańcy Wawra rodzicom z Centrum Zdrowia Dziecka”. 

Ewa Malinowska-Grupińska, Chairperson of the Warsaw City Council said:

Thanks to the plebiscite for the most popular Warsaw Woman of the Year, over the next years, we will learn about wonderful and important female figures. I am pleased that they will be honoured and their impact on our city will be noted and appreciated. The people of Warsaw, with their votes, have chosen remarkable women, courageous and committed to helping those most in need. I also sincerely thank everyone who voted for the “Warsaw Woman of the Century. This is a special moment on history, because the next such plebiscite is still another one hundred years away.

“Warsaw Woman of the Century” was awarded to Irena Sendler. The jury assessed her achievements as “evidence of unimaginable courage, heroism, steadfastness of spirit and the truest good”. Her daughter, Janina Zgrzembska, said, “Mum, you can hear this, you can see this. You loved Warsaw, Warsaw has repaid you”.

Read Irena Sendler's Story