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Marina de Regt is Associate Professor and Programme Director of the Bachelor and Master at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She received her PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2003. She specialized in gender, labour, migration and development in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, and in particular Yemen and Ethiopia. Marina is co-chair of the South-South Exchange Programme for Research on the History of Development (SEPHIS) ( and a founding member of Menara, an NGO that aims to support and carry out research about the Middle East and North Africa and Yemen in particular. 


Marina's research has moved from the study of health care workers in a Dutch-Yemeni development project to migrant domestic workers in Yemen, and from the history of migration between Yemen and Ethiopia to adolescent girls migration in Ethiopia. She published extensively in high ranking journals such as Gender & Society, Signs, Critical Asian Studies and the Journal of Eastern African Studies. She co-edited (with Bina Fernandez) Migrant Domestic Workers in the Middle East - The Home and the World (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and recently published together with Katarzyna Grabska and Nicoletta Del Franco the monograph Adolescent Girls Migration in the Global South - Transitions into Adulthood (Palgrave Macmillan 2019). From 2017 - 2020 Marina was the Principal Investigator of  the WOTRO funded project "Syrian Refugee Youth in Jordan: Early Marriages in Perspective". In 2021 she led a research project about people of mixed Yemeni-African descent (so-called muwalladeen) in Yemen which was commissioned by the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies. In addition to academic publications, Marina aims to dissemminate her research results to a wider audience. She has been involved in various filmprojects, namely:

Young and Invisible: African Domestic Workers in Yemen (Arda Nederveen Productions 2007)

Time to Look at Girls: Adolescent Girls Migration in the Global South (2016)

2 Girls (award winning documentary) (2016)

Studying Sensitive Issues: The Importance of Involving Syrian Refugees in Research on Early Marriage (2019)

Marina is the initiator of the website Lives in Perspective (, with fictive stories of people living in conflict-ridden parts of the Middle East and Africa.


Marina de Regt teaches in the Bachelor, Master and PhD programme. The most important courses are the Bachelor courses "Identity, Diversity and Inclusion" (together with Ismintha Waldring) and "Beyond Gender Inequalities" (with Lorraine Nencel) and the Master course "Theoretical Orientation in Social and Cultural Anthropology" (with other colleagues from the Department). She is also involved in the Graduate course "Decolonization and Beyond" (with Claudio Pinheiro and Farid Alatas). In addition, she supervises Bachelor, Master and PhD students. She regularly gives guestlectures about gender, migration and development issues, with a special focus on Yemen and Ethiopia.


Marina de Regt has obtained a number of research grants throughout her academic career. Her post-doctoral research was funded by an individual WOTRO grant (2004-2006). She obtained an individual fellowship at Humboldt University for the academic year 2011/2012. Together with Katarzyna Grabska and Nicoletta Del Franco she succesfully applied for funding from the Swiss Network for International Studies for the collaborative research project on adolescent girls migration (2014-2016). Her last collaborative project about early marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan was funded by WOTRO again (as part of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programme) (2017-2020).

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Academic qualification

PhD, Pioneers or Pawns? Women Health Workers and the Politics of Development in Yemen, University of Amsterdam

Jan 1998Dec 2002

Award Date: 22 Apr 2003

Master, De ontrafeling van een vrouwenberoep: Tapijtknoopsters in Rabat-Sale, Marokko, University of Amsterdam

Sept 1984Jun 1990

Award Date: 29 Jun 1990


  • H Social Sciences
  • gender
  • migration
  • labour
  • Middle East
  • Horn of Africa
  • Yemen
  • Ethiopia
  • girls
  • women
  • development
  • family history
  • life histories
  • feminist anthropology
  • anthropology
  • early marriage
  • Jordan
  • refugees
  • migrants


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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