The fall of Yugoslavia and the liberation of Slovenia in 1991 provided the basis for the recognition of gender equality as an important issue for the country. One of the first steps towards gender mainstreaming in Slovenia had already been taken in 1990, with the establishment of the Parliamentary Commission for Women’s Policy. The commission was responsible for monitoring the position of women in Slovenia and submitting proposals for improvement. At that point it was recognised that the issues of gender equality and gender mainstreaming required their own government body, and in 1992 the Women’s Policy Office was established, which in 2001 was renamed the Office for Equal Opportunities (and later abolished in 2011). With these actions, Slovenia was the first transition country to establish an office for promoting gender equality and gender mainstreaming. Slovenia began implementing gender mainstreaming in 1997 with a pilot project carried out by the Office for Equal Opportunities. Different ministries were involved in the project and the main activities were capacity-building initiatives for all public employees and the inclusion of gender mainstreaming in all policies.
The role of the European Union (EU) in the process of gender mainstreaming cannot be overlooked. EU strategy had an important influence when Slovenia was a candidate for EU accession (1996–2004).