Darja Zaviršek


Dr. Darja Zaviršek has been professor at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Ljubljana since 2006, where she has also been a teacher and researcher for 26 years. She has always been interested in gender relations, a topic she has addressed in more than 12 books and publications in Slovene and foreign languages.

She entered this field of research and commenced her active commitment towards women's equality with the subject of violence against women, which has remained an active interest to this day. In her second book, Ženske in duševno zdravje of 1994, she explored how violence, gender inequalities, economic, social and cultural obstacles affect women's mental health. In the first City of Women festival she reflected on how a man-centric society made women hysterical and looked at what happens when women experience themselves as independent, weak and "crazy". Later she investigated subjects that included the social construction of the handicapped (Hendikep kot kulturna travma, 2000) and showed that handicapped women are more discriminated against than men and experience more violence – which remains largely invisible because handicapped women have far fewer choices. While digging into the history of social work she discovered that Slovenia has its own pioneers and that women were key subjects in the development of this field. Recently she has researched families and their transformations in the globalised world (Od krvi do skrbi: socialno starševstvo v globalnem svetu, 2012; Mavrične družine grejo v šolo: perspektiva otrok, staršev in učiteljic, 2012). In her research and lectures she also illustrates how women in the western world have won numerous reproductive rights that affect today's international adoption practices (Notranje in mednarodne posvojitve: od osebnih izkušenj do dobre prakse, 2012).

Darja Zaviršek was President of the City of Women Festival (1999–2001), the deputy Dean in her faculty (2003–2007) as well as President of the East European Association of the Schools of Social Work, and Head of the Chair of Social Justice and Inclusion Studies since 2008. She is Honorary Professor at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Social Sciences in Berlin.