Spotlight on...

"Spotlight on..." New Doctoral Researcher Laurita Hargreaves-Westenberger

Doctoral Reseacher Laurita Hargreaves-Westenberger joined the GIGA Doctoral Programme in April 2023. Get to know Laurita in this interview.

  • Laurita Hargreaves-Westenberger joined the Doctoral Programme in April 2023. The working title of her dissertation is “Gender and Social Inequalities in Unpaid Care Work: a comparative analysis between Brazil and Uruguay.” She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the State University of Rio de Janeiro, as well as a Master’s degree from the joint programme in Socio-Ecological Economics awarded by the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Economic Analysis from Sorbonne Université. She was previously a research analyst at the Brazilian Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA).

    What made you choose to do a PhD? The decision to pursue a PhD is deeply related to my personal and professional goals to posively impact women‘s lives through science and policy-making. The PhD opportunity will leverage my research and skills to reach this ultimate goal of enhancing gender equality. In this regard, GIGA’s Doctoral Programme was my first option due to its comparative research focus, renowned researchers, and broad network.

    What is your main motivation to address the topic of your PhD?

    My main motivation to address gender and social inequality in care work in Latin America lies on women‘s work burden in paid and unpaid care work. The region is widely known for high social inequality rates and traditional family arrangements supported by patriarchal norms. Recently, some countries in the region have adopted more gender-friendly agendas, which triggered my attention to understand the interactions between progressive gender policies and social stratification systems regarding the provision of care work.

    What would you like the impact of your project to be?

    This project aims to provide essential tools for gender-equal policy design by empowering women and promoting gender equality, particularly in care provision. The COVID-19 pandemic effects drew even more attention to care work, which sparked my wish to rethink the value of “care” as a fundamental dimension of society. The research project contributes to a broader conceptualization of “work” and brings a new lens towards gender and social equality agendas in care provision.

    Theory or practice? Theory and practice are interconnected once they provide fundamental tools to implement effective policies.

    Reading or writing? Reading is the source for coming up with new ideas, and writing is the way to materialize and spread these ideas to the world.

    GIGA Doctoral Programme

    The GIGA has a long tradition of integrating young researchers into its research structure. This tradition culminated in the establishment of the GIGA Doctoral Programme. This programme seeks to provide a platform for young, international, and German academics, from which they can pursue their research and professional development, particularly in the field of comparative area studies (CAS).

    Doctoral Programme


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