As already the first international European comparative research after the year 2000 had shown, women in socialist Yugoslavia were rather well off in comparative perspective, regarding the rights to contraception and abortion, access of employment, high quality childcare, etc. It was only after the fall of the Berlin wall that women’s issues had to be brought into forefront, including both governmental programs as well as non-governmental women’s groups and projects. In this context, the group WomenforPolitics conducted a major counterattack to the right-wing Governmental attempts to abolish abortion rights in 1991, managing to maintain the liberal abortion legislation. Additional developments included the establishment of a parliamentary commission and a Bureau for Women’s politics, the introduction of women’s studies to universities, the seminal work of the European network on women’s studies ATHENA, the establishment of a feminist scientific journal as well as the organization of a feminist festival in 1995 which went along with the »feminist turn to culture« ideas spreading around Europe at the time.

The paper presents some of the main features of the most influential women’s endeavours and movements that happened in Slovenia between 1991 and 1995, including new insights from ego-history and autobiographical writing. Apart from giving an account of the times, it brings in a personal witnessing point of view known from interdisciplinary research. Integrating the new EIRENE international research outcomes, the conclusion is made that new interdisciplinary and transnational, as well as epistemologically refreshed insight should be systematically incorporated into the research on women and gender in Europe.


Eva D. Bahovec is Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana, where she teaches contemporary French philosophy, history of ideas, and gender studies. She has edited the Slovene translation of Beauvoir’s Second Sex in 1999, while her recent publications also include an account on Beauvoir’s philosophy in A Companion to Simone de Beauvoir edited by Nancy Bauer and Laura Hengehold in 2017, a book on Foucault’s Royal Road between Philosophy, History, and Psychoanalysis, published by the Faculty of Arts publishing house in 2023, while her recent research is also included in Quaderni di psihoanalisi critica, edited by Giuseppe Perfetto at the Mimesis Edizioni. Eva D. Bahovec is the founding editor of the journal for Women’s Studies and Feminist theory Delta (1995-2007), which in 1997 gained the Slovene cultural award Zlata ptica of the Liberal Academy, and the honorary president of the City of Women (2017-2021), which in 2018 obtained the Princess Margriet Award of the European Cultural Commission.