Dr. Zilka Spahic-Šiljak

Bosnia And Herzegovina

Location of Activities

Bosnia and Herzegovina / USA
South Europe / North America
Programme Director, Transcultural Psycho-social Educational Foundation (TPO Foundation), BiH

Professor, Stanford University-Global Studies, US

Professor, University of Zenica, BiH

Zilka Spahić Šiljak holds PhD in gender studies, MA in human rights and BA in Religious Studies. Her scope of work includes addressing cutting edge issues involving human rights, politics, religion, gender, education and peace-building with more than fifteen years experience in academic teaching, and work in governmental and non-governmental sectors. She is currently a research associate at Stanford University and runs TPO Foundation Sarajevo. As post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University she published the book: Shining Humanity – Life Stories of Women Peacebuilders in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014). She also served as deputy director of the Religious Studies in the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies of the University of Sarajevo (2006-2012) and taught at the Religious Studies and gender Studies.

In that period she published: Contesting Female, Feminist and Muslim Identities. Post-Socialist Contexts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, (2012); Women Religion and Politics (2010), Monotheistic Three Voices: Introduction to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, (2009).

Biography as of 12.06.18
Main Publications: 


1.) 2014 – Shining Humanity – Life Stories of Women Peace–builders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK.

2.) 2012 – Contesting Female, Feminist and Muslim Identities –Post–socialist Contexts of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, CIPS of the University of Sarajevo, 2012.

3.) 2011 – Countering Violence With Dialogue, TPO Foundation and Medica Zenica.

4.) 2010 – Monograph: Women, Religion and Politics, Sarajevo: IMIC, CIPS and TPO.

5.) 2009 – Multi–authored book: Women Believers and Citizens, TPO Foundation, Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies – University of Sarajevo.

6.) 2009 – Multi–authored book: Three Monotheistic Voices: Introduction to Judaism, Christianity and Islam [for public school use], RABIC, IMIC, CIPS of the University of Sarajevo, TPO, Sarajevo.

7.) 2007 – Multi–authored book: Gender Equality and Judicial Practice in BiH, HcA, Banja Luka.


1.) “Religious Feminism Periphery Within the Semi-periphery in the Balkans”, Sociology, Belgrade: Sociološko udruženje Srbije i Crne Gore i Filozofski fakultet-Institut za sociološka istraživanja, Vol LX, No.1.2018.

2.) “The Confluence of Islamic Feminism and Peacebuilding: Lessons from Bosnia”, Samyukta, A Journal of Gender and Culture, Kerala India: Women’s Initiative, Vol. XVII, No.1, 2017, 165-181.

3.) “Being A Muslim Feminist in Bosnia and Kosovo”, in Reinhild Traitler and Teny Pirri-Simonian (eds.), Towards A Pedagogy of Religious Diversity, Lebanon: Antelias, 2015.

4.) “Believers for Social Change: Bridging the Secular Religious Divide in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, International Relations and Diplomacy, David Publishing, October 2015, Vol. 3, No.10, 681-690.

5.) “Women and Peace-building in BiH”, in Kathryn Marshall, (ed.) Women, Religion and Peace-building, (USIP, 2015).

6.) “Merhametli Peace is Woman's Peace” in Yasmin Saikia & Chad Haines, (eds) Women and Peace in the Islamic World: Gender, Agency, and Influence (London: I.B. Tauris, 2015).

7.) “Nation, Religion and Gender” in Politicization of Religion: The ex-Yugoslavila and its successor states, Gornana Ognjenovic and Jasna Ozelic (eds.) Plagrave McMillan, 2014.

8.) Women, Religion and Peace Leadership, Ecumenical Woman’s Initiative, Croatia, 2014.

9.) Do it and Name It: Feminist Theology and Peace-building in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Journal for Feminist Studies of Religion, November 2013)

10.) ''Women, Religion and Politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina'' in Linell Cady and Tracy Fessenden (eds.) Religion, The Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference, Columbia University Press, New York, 2013.

11.) Application of UNSCR 1325 on Women Peace and Security, Handbook for Survivors of War Trauma, Medica Mundiale Germany and Medica Zenica, 2011.

12.) ''Women’s Human Rights –Islamic perspective'', in Ivana Radačić i Jelka Vince Pallua (eds.) Women's Human Rights. The Development of women's human rights on the international and national levels 30 years after UN Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. (Zagreb: Institute Ivo Pilar, 2011).

13.) ''Images of Women in Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Neighboring Countries, 1992-1995,'' in Faegheh Shirazi, ed., Muslim Women in War and Crisis: from Reality to Representation (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010).

14.) ''Gender Equality in Monotheistic Religions in feminist Theological Critic'', Discourse and Discourses: Proceeding in honor of Svenka Savic, Novi Sad, 2010.

15.) ''Maryam/Mary, foundation for Muslim-Christian Dialogue'', (Merjem/Marija, polaziste islamsko-krscanskog dijaloga), u Svenka Savic i Rebeka Anic, Rodna perspektiva u medjureligijskom dijalogu u XXI veku, N Sad, 2009.

Areas of Actions: 
Peace and ReconciliationWomen's RightsShared Human ValuesReligious, Confessional and Spiritual ActivitiesDemocracy, Social Cohesion and Citizenship
Forms of Actions: 
ResearchEducational Programmes