Women empowering women is the new mantra, the new goal, and the new focus. Why won't this be? Women have come a long way in changing stereotypes, negative ideas, and perceptions, saying no to gender inequality. They are on the road to discovery, healing, and releasing that women empowerment is very important for success.
Women are banging those six figures deals more than ever. They are getting educated like never before. They are going against all odds to start that million-dollar business and contribute their quota to a good cause. All these had been possible when the reality dawned that the key to women's empowerment is financial literacy.
However, we can't close our eyes to the fact that only a small percentage of women are reaching their full status financially. We can't ignore the economic fragility women are facing. And of course, the plague of lack of financial literacy. If women want to go far and stop trailing behind men in finance, they need to make smart, informed decisions.
What does Financial Literacy entail?
Financial literacy is the understanding and application of financial components and skills. The application of these financial skills includes areas such as budgeting, spending and borrowing, savings and investments, and all other financial information.
Financial literacy is an important tool in our daily lives and also in contributing to the country's economy. However, the traditional roles of women in homes have limited them, especially when it comes to investing or making big purchases.
It's not surprising women have to rely on their partners for finances and they are far from being financially independent or empowered. From the funding of children's education to buying a home to building generational wealth, women need to realise they can do all and be all. This can be attained through financial literacy.
The Road to Financial Literacy
Globally, women are paid less than men wherein women are making up to $0.82 for every dollar a man makes. Women have to work 44 more days annually before meeting up to the amount men earn. Mothers are more likely to go for downshifting in order to manage their homes and children.
These stats only buttress how women are less represented, the leadership gap, and discriminations both in the workplace and society at large. No doubt, we have been progressing over the years. But there are still gaps to be filled to ensure women attain the financial independence that they deserve.
When it comes to financial literacy, knowing how finance works is not all that matters. What matters most is the application of knowledge in making informed financial decisions. This means you understand how to budget to manage money. You know all about financial instruments, investing, and retirement plans. You are able to manage your savings and make good debts work for you. No debt is hanging on your neck that can hamper your financial freedom.
Empowering each other
Financial literacy is not something that will magically occur to you. It takes conscious effort and being intentional about financial growth. Women need to be sufficiently empowered financially in order to take appropriate financial decisions. Women empowering women have to go beyond celebrating wins to encouraging each other up to do better. How can this be done?
One thing many women find difficult to discuss openly is money. But this is where financial liberation all began. For instance, many women live paycheck to paycheck. While there are some that have to give up their financial dreams or careers to take care of homes.
Women need to be more comfortable discussing financial mistakes, financial pressures and monetary decisions they have to make. It is important to create an environment where women are confident to ask questions related to money matters and share their challenges. Then, others who are already successful in these areas can share tips and connect them to educational materials that can be of help.
Knowledge is power and education is the key to acquiring knowledge. The good news is schools have been introducing curriculums on finance in order to train students. But we still have a long way to go until this is adopted globally and universally.
Moreover, we need more countries targeting the most vulnerable group of women. Then, developing and implementing financial education programs in order to attain greater financial heights. Women need to be empowered to be confident in getting started, failing and learning.
There is no denying that there are gender differences in financial literacy. Government, businesses, organisations, men, and women have a role to play to promote gender equality and contribute to the financial empowerment of women. This means men and women have equal opportunities for financial independence and overall growth.
Although, the world has made huge progress in achieving gender parity in education. There is still more to be done in financial and political empowerment. Women own less percentage of the world's wealth as compared to men.
To climb the highest rank of the career ladder seems difficult for women and many women still suffer from job discrimination. In order to achieve full financial literacy, gender equality is important. We need to give women more opportunities to showcase their talents, take up managerial positions and lift other women up.
Dream it to Reality
So, let’s pledge to spread financial literacy all around! As a woman, it's time to boost your financial vehicle and drive it to success. Set achievable goals and go for them!
Dream big, work smart! Life and society might not always be favourable, but you can achieve whatever you set your mind to do. Gain the knowledge, attend seminars, listen to podcasts on money, read books, and get started on your dreams. You have got millions of other women cheering you on. You can do it!!
This is a guest post by Harleen Kaur, a Chartered Accountant with 13+ years of experience, a finance enthusiast, and a passionate blogger since the past 6 years. She is actively contributing towards the financial literacy goal through her business ventures @ Fintrakk.com and a Finance FAQ Portal, thereby spreading awareness on diversified financial topics.