The paper deals with the relationship between gender and social work in Italy, adopting a long-term perspective, with particular attention to the second post-war period. The paper focuses mainly on female leadership in the creation and development of a predominantly female profession, from fascism to democracy. It stresses the birth of new social work schools (1946) as an important element of a very innovative approach to social welfare in Italy.


Elisabetta Vezzosi is Full Professor of United States History at the University of Trieste, where she teaches also Women’s and Gender History. She is the director of the Department of Humanities. From 2016 to 2019 she was President of the Italian Association for North American Studies. She is member of the editorial board of the historical journal Contemporanea. Her most recent publications of interest for the conference: (with Marilena Dellavalle) ed., Immaginare il futuro. Servizo sociale di Comunità e Community Development in Italia (19462017), Roma, Viella 2018; (with Elisabetta Bini), “Gender and Social Work. New Historical Studies and Interpretations”, Contemporanea, XXII, 2, April–June 2019, pp. 269–303, Fascia A.