“Empowered women, empower women.”
Women across the globe are leading the charge to break the infamous glass ceiling. The echoes of their effort can be heard throughout various verticals. Whether it’s in the world of business, entertainment, IT or military, they confidently stride alongside their male counterparts. But, what about the fiscal realm?
Despite their growing progress in these diverse industries, women’s presence in the world of finance remains scarce. Unfortunately, many Indians today are not aware of the stark difference between men’s and women’s financial circumstances.
A Crisis That Predates Us
The glaring lack of financial literacy among women hasn’t gone unnoticed. Historically, it dates back to dark and regressive periods that oppressed women, stripping them of their identity and individuality. Their financial autonomy wasn’t spared, either. However, it’s time for women of the 20th century to regain their financial liberty.
Recent surveys indicate that a large percentage of Indian women are still financially illiterate, lacking the confidence to approach financial institutions. This includes women living in rural regions, who are unable to access sufficient employment or control over their finances. Such obstacles debilitate the economic growth of women, with lakhs of them financially dependent on their parents, spouse or children.
Significance of Female Financial Literacy
The need to promote financial literacy is at an all-time high. Take a look at the benefits of empowering women through financial literacy!
- Financially literate women can aid with the increasing cost of living and inflation
- It instils more confidence in women through financial independence
- Educates them on ways to wisely manage their finances
- They will be able to prudently safeguard their senior years with a sufficient retirement fund
- The increase of women in the fiscal sphere will promote financial literacy amongst others
The Financial Hurdles Women Encounter
There’s plenty of financial advice floating around on the internet, but they seldom tackle problems that explicitly affect women. These impediments influence different stages of their lives, stalling their financial progress.
Less Pay, Lesser To Save
It’s no secret – women’s wages are still lower than men’s despite having evenly matched qualifications. These gaps gravely affect them, especially single women who still need to finance their lifestyle. This heavily curbs their ability to save and invest, leading to insufficient funds during sudden emergencies.
Women & Career Breaks
While many career-oriented women are entering the workforce, certain career interruptions could restrict their growth. Career breaks range from family planning and maternity leaves to sabbaticals for the caregiving of ageing parents. The rising survival rate of women makes career growth essential for them to earn and save more for retirement.
The Trials of Working Mothers
Though we applaud the hard work of working mothers, sometimes they’re forced to take on the primary role in childrearing and household chores. This compromises their career by forcing them to quit or work part-time. With every pregnancy and childrearing break, their career and financial growth slow down.
Investing In Others, Not Themselves
Working mothers also contribute to household expenses, leaving lesser money for them to save. This is a major concern since daughters are more likely to support ageing parents, or outlive their spouses. In the end, due to low wages and career breaks stunting their growth, they are left with little no room for investments, including real estate.
Improper Planning Leads To Impoverished Retirement
As retirement years approach, many women begin to realise the lack of funds available. In the struggle to balance their work and familial obligations, financial goals like saving for a retirement fund are overlooked. Women have lesser time to prepare for these tender years as career breaks reduce the number of their active working years
Women need to renew their interest in finance by pursuing their financial goals. Spread the importance of financial awareness and encourage it among other women!