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Autonomy Foundation

Autonomy Foundation (Fundacja Autonomia) is a non-governmental, non-partisan Polish organization founded in 2007. Legal status is not for profit foundation.

Autonomy supports people to become conscious and active citizens by empowerment work, awareness raising, civic and anti-discrimination education, critical thinking, media literacy and civic engagement.

Our main goal is to create society which is able to stop discrimination and violence based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, age, disability or any other factor. Intersectional perspective is crucial. We try to adopt our actions to the needs of people with disabilities.

Autonomia Foundation’s projects are nationwide and local; we have also experience in projects’ implementation in Belarus and Ukraine. We are planning to expand our actions to Western European countries.

We are member of national coalitions and advocacy groups: The Coalition for Anti-discrimination Education, Coalition for Equal Rights, CEDAW Coalition in Poland, Antidiscriminatory Network in Cracow and WAVE – Women Against Violence Europe.

Among our team as well as collaborators are qualified and dedicated people. Our expertise is recognized and our essential achievements are acknowledged and valued. We cooperate with civic initiatives, academic centers and public institutions. We gain patronages and matronages from the most important human rights bodies.


I. Education on antidiscrimination and human rights: educational complex project „Nobody is Born with Prejudice” – model of antidiscrimination workshop, school for the trainers, which 100 trainers had completed, www.bezuprzedzen.org website (title: without prejudices), 3 educational movies with manuals, Cracow’s edition of human rights film festival WATCHDOCS, conferences, meetings.

II. Preventing and counteracting of violence and discrimination, mainly based on prejudices also in education through:

1. Promotion of WenDo – method of empowerment, assertiveness and self-defense for women and girls.
2. Enhancing skills of staff in organizations combating violence and discrimination: Academy of WenDo Training forming 29 trainers to conduct empowering workshops for women, girls and other persons at risk of gender based violence.
3. 8 publications, for example: „Strength, courage, solidarity – empowerment as antiviolence prevention tool/method. Manual for NGOs and public sector”.
4. Creating and implementing programmes for educational institutions, for example co-authorship and implementation of the University Standards of Violence and Discrimination Prevention in Cracow’s Pedagogical University.
5. Raising consciousness and civic activity as well as civil courage in standing against violence and discrimination. Here we can name: workshops violence preventing, social campaigns, i.e. coordination of Polish edition of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, courses for anti-violence women leaders, voluntary service.

III. Empowerment and emancipating education of persons at risk of violence and multiple discrimination or exclusion. Workshop and program models were created: WenDo (self-defense and assertiveness for women and girls), „Silence Is Not Golden” – empowering programme for non-heterosexual female leaders, „Nothing About Us Without Us” – project aimed at women with disabilities, „Strength, courage, solidarity – empowerment as antiviolence prevention tool/method” – programme aimed at social care and education staff dealing with gender based violence from official institutions.

IV. Advocacy (nationwide, local and non-governmental) aiming at inclusion of anti-discriminative perspective, including incorporation of anti-discriminative education into school curricula and anti-violence state programmes.