International Women’s Day 2024 – Invest in women: Accelerate progress.

Misean Cara joins UNESCO in celebrating International Women’s Day 2024 (March 8th), under the theme Invest in women: Accelerate progress. Throughout our 20-year history, Misean Cara has supported the projects of Irish missionary congregations, many of them with education and jobs training for women and girls at the centre of the efforts.

The Power of Educating Girls and Women
For many women in poor communities overseas, especially in remote areas, education is a bridge to a future where they have the resources and income they need to gain independence and build secure lives for themselves and their families. A quality education broadens opportunities for girls and women, opportunities that can have multiple benefits for themselves and those around them.

Economic empowerment through education
Upholding the rights of girls and women to quality education, and training for jobs in technical fields such as medicine, information technology and skilled trades, can help them overcome poverty through decent wages that can also help close the gender pay gap. Investment in quality education and training for girls can have high-impact returns: each year of education can increase a woman’s income from paid work by 10 – 20%.  

On a larger scale, empowering women with education and training for the jobs of today and the future can have a direct impact on the communities and societies where they live, strengthening local economies, boosting employment prospects for future generations of girls and preparing women and girls to take on the challenges of a changing world.

Education and Skills Training – More Important than Ever
In many countries where our members work, girls and women who want to attend school and jobs training can encounter a wide range of obstacles, including poverty, climate change, conflict and war, population displacement and cultural factors such as early marriage and pregnancy. Against these challenges, Misean Cara members persevere with projects supporting education and jobs training.

Below you can learn about projects by Misean Cara members that have been working to bring education and training to young women and girls those who need it most and whose lives can be most transformed by it.  

Misean Cara member: Salesian Sisters
Country: India

In Chennai, India, the Salesian Sisters are actively involved in special efforts to promote STEM education in eight schools, where STEM education courses are fostering entrepreneurship skills, curiosity, risk taking, and critical thinking in students. A special Robotics League (called AUXISTEM) was launched in January of 2024, with 120 girls participating. At the same time, lessons are also challenging social barriers girls face to learning STEM, such as traditional cultural practices, even in the school environment, that put less emphasis on getting input and asking questions of girls students and involving them in making decisions.

Misean Cara member: Society of the Divine Saviour
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

At the Father Jordan Secondary School in Lubumbashi (DRC), the Society of the Divine Saviour (Salvatorians) used funding from Misean Cara to help the school meet its goals to increase overall student enrollment, especially girls, and prepare students for a competitive job market after graduation with education and training in electronics and computer sciences. Funding helped to build new school buildings and outfitted classrooms with technical and IT equipment and a new electronics lab. With a female student population now at 50%, the school has made STEM subjects accessible to girls at the school, who can now avail of classes including industrial electronics and manufacturing business management. Outreach efforts with parents and families has helped raise awareness of the need for and benefits of gender equality.

Misean Cara member: Society of the Divine Saviour
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Project: Father Jordan Secondary School

Misean Cara member: Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Loreto
Country: South Sudan

Loreto Girls’ Secondary School in Rumbek, opened in 2008. Making quality education, including STEM education accessible to highly vulnerable girls in a challenging context where more than 50% of girls enter marriage before the age of 18.

Misean Cara member: Viatores Christi (with partner Religious of Jesus and Mary)
Country: Haiti

Hands-on IT education and training for girls and women aged primary through post-secondary, plus teacher training.

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