15 January, 2024 | Posted by Michelle Hogan

International Women's Day 2024: Inspiring Inclusion and Investing in Women to Accelerate Progress

This International Women's Day (IWD) on March 8th, we want to imagine a gender-equal world, free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.

International Women's Day is a global movement which aims to create a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive.

"A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #InspireInclusion."

In a world facing multiple crises that are putting immense pressure on communities, achieving gender equality is more vital than ever.

Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights across all aspects of life is the only way to secure prosperous and just economies, and a healthy planet for future generations.  

According to UN Women, one of the key challenges in achieving gender equality by 2030 is an alarming lack of financing with a staggering USD $360 billion annual deficit in spending on gender-equality measures. 

UN Women is the United Nations' organisation delivering programmes, policies and standards that uphold women’s human rights and ensure that every woman and girl lives up to her full potential.

The UN Women's IWD campaign is rallying behind the call to “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”. 

This campaign focuses on five key areas that needaction to ensure women are not left behind:

Investing in women: A human rights issue

Time is running out. Gender equality remains the greatest human rights challenge. Investing in women is a human rights imperative and cornerstone for building inclusive societies. Progress for women benefits us all.

Ending poverty 

The COVID pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, climate disasters, and economic turmoil have pushed an extra 75 million people into severe poverty, since 2020. This could lead to more than 342 million women and girls living below the poverty line by 2030, making immediate action crucial.  

Implementing gender-responsive financing

Due to conflicts and rising fuel and food prices, recent estimates suggest that 75 per cent of countries will curb public spending by 2025. Austerity negatively impacts women and crowds out public spending on essential public services and social protection.

Shifting to a green economy and care society

The current economic system exacerbates poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, disproportionately affecting women and marginalised groups. Advocates for alternative economic models propose a shift towards a green economy and care society that amplifies women’s voices.

Supporting feminist change-makers

Feminist organisations are leading efforts to tackle women’s poverty and inequality. However, they are running on empty, receiving a meagre 0.13 per cent of total official development assistance

Take a stand and join the conversation with the #InvestInWomen hashtag.

Portobello Institute's Values

Delia Lyons founded Portobello Institute in 1981 as The Portobello School of Childcare. Delia operated a small nursery for babies and children before recognizing the need for qualified and skilled staff in the nursery sector.

Her school originally opened in South Richmond St, beside Portobello Bridge on the south side of Dublin. It was the first childcare training school in Ireland and one of a small handful of private providers of further education at the time. Delia aimed to make education accessible for everyone who wanted to develop further in their careers.

Our founder was ahead of her time, investing in women, investing in education, investing in progress and her legacy lives on at Portobello Institute today. 

Today, Delia’s daughter Rebekah Lyons continues to make education accessible and ensures that Portobello remains true to Delia’s vision.

Each student is an individual with dreams and aspirations of a future career. Our role is to support that individual to achieve their career objectives. No matter how large our student base grows to, we will continue to keep classes small so that our tutors know your name when you enroll and when you graduate. A personal level of support continually exists for every student regardless of what they study. By taking this approach we are aiming to assist students as they reach their personal best in education.

Giving Back

At Portobello Institute we understand the importance of giving back having a small in-house charity we set up called 'Dochas Leanai'. 

College director, Denise Flood, travels to India and Belarus twice a year with a team of about 15 individuals, across staff and students. Devoted work includes training Montessori teachers and setting up Montessori schools in slum areas in Pune India.

The charity is also heavily involved in supporting training in a girls rescue centre and in a small school for profoundly hearing impaired children. This involves self defence training in a community project and sports and arts and crafts camps in a slum school in Pune.

Read more inspiring International Women's Day interviews here.

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