The first governmental commitment to gender mainstreaming in Poland was made in the National Action Plan for Women (NAP) 1997 – 2000. Due to a political shift in the 1997 election, the NAP was not implemented. The second National Action Plan for Women (2003–2005) was successfully launched with the aim to mainstream gender equality into government policies at all levels, thanks to the efforts of the Governmental Plenipotentiary for the Equal Status of Men and Women, established in 2001. However, the gender mainstreaming process was somewhat interrupted in 2005, when the Plenipotentiary was dissolved after parliamentary elections, and no new national programme was put into effect in that respect. Several subsequent Offices responsible for preventing discrimination have followed. After the dissolution of the Plenipotentiary, its competencies were taken over by the Department of Women, Family and Counteracting Discrimination within the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The department was responsible for the coordination of implementing the gender mainstreaming perspective, but was dissolved in January 2010. However, in order to implement the task of providing equal opportunities to women and men in the labour market, the Division for Gender Equality in the Labour Market was created in the Department of Economic Analyses and Forecasts. In 2008 a new institution was established – the Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment. Among its tasks, described in the Act implementing certain European Union (EU) provisions on equal treatment (2010), the new plenipotentiary has drawn up a National Action Plan for the years 2013–2016, which includes a firm commitment to gender mainstreaming.
Overall, the EU’s influence on gender mainstreaming in Poland has been relatively significant because of EU funding. For instance, all projects co-financed within the European Social Fund (ESF) framework must have a gender impact assessment. Moreover, gender mainstreaming itself has been the focus of a number of projects funded by the ESF.