Gender analysis, development, intrahousehold dynamics, water insecurity, agriculture, agricultural statistics, livelihoods, asset ownership and inequalities
Marya Hillesland’s research is centered on gender and development. In particular, her research focuses on intrahousehold dynamics; women’s empowerment and agency; agriculture, agricultural statistics; time poverty; water and food insecurity; livelihoods; asset and wealth inequalities within the Global South.
Her current research draws from both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore issues of water insecurity within the Global South and how it intersects with social inequalities and intrahousehold dynamics. This work is part of REACH, a global research programme to improve water security for the poor and the GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. She is also collaborating with an inter-organisation research group, MAGNET, housed at the World Bank's Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) on the development and validation of quantitative tools to measure asset inequalities and women’s agency.
Marya Hillesland served more than five years at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy. At FAO, her work included leading projects to develop data collection methods to better understand gender dynamics and livelihoods in smallholder agricultural households in the Global South; leading research on women’s empowerment in agriculture; and informing FAO's management team of ways to further integrate gender analysis into FAO’s strategic programmes.
Marya has also worked with CGIAR, UNWomen, and USAID. She has field experience in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
She has taught the graduate module in gender and development as part of the MSc in Economics for Development at ODID. She received the James H. Weaver Teaching Excellence Award as an Adjunct Professor at American University, Washington, DC, for her courses on feminist economic thought and gender roles in the economy.
At ODID, Dr Hillesland led the gender and development module for the MSc in Economics for Development.
At American University, in Washington, DC, she led four undergraduate classes. She taught two semesters of gender analysis in economics, a semester of microeconomics, and a seminar course in feminist economic thought.
Journal articles and special issuesHillesland, Marya (with L Narayanaswamy & R Ferritto)(2023) 'Engineers focus on Why a feminist ethics of care and socio-ecological justice lens matter for global, interdisciplinary research on water security ', Frontiers of Human Dynamics 10 : 3389Hillesland, Marya (with M Mutua, N Guettou Djurfeldt, E Nchanji, J Twyman, & M Korzenevica)(2023) 'Unbundling water and land rights in Kilifi County, Kenya: a gender perspective ', Frontiers of Human Dynamics 5 : 1210065Hillesland, Marya (with Cheryl Doss, Vanya Slavchevska Martina Querejeta)(2023) 'Who claims the rights to livestock? Gendered patterns of asset holdings in smallholder households in Uganda ', International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 21 (1) : 2220929Hillesland, Marya (with S Kaaria, E Mane, M Alemu, V Slavchevska )(2022) 'Does a joint United Nations microfinance ‘plus’ program empower female farmers in rural Ethiopia? Evidence using the pro-WEAI ', World Development 156 : 105909Hillesland, Marya (with H Swaminathan, C Grown )(2022) 'Women's Land Ownership and Household Income Diversification Patterns in Malawi ', Journal of African Development 23 (1) : 58-86Hillesland, Marya (with V Slavchevska, H Henderson, P Okello, FN Oumo )(2020) 'Beyond the sex of the holder: understanding agricultural production decisions within household farms in Uganda ', AgriGender 05 (01) : 14-27Hillesland, Marya (2019) 'Investigating the gender wealth gap in Ghana ', Oxford Development Studies 47 (1) : 63-78Hillesland, Marya (2019) 'Gender differences in risk behavior: An analysis of asset allocation decisions in Ghana ', World Development 117 : 127-37