How financial independence empower women

It's exciting times with regards women and wealth. We are a veritable army of change waiting to be unlocked. While we can slap ourselves on the back for our achievements, there is still more work to do – particularly when it comes to our finances.

The world needs changing.  What we all learned from the #MeToo stories is the need for women to be financially empowered so that they can feel empowered to say “no” to any situation that will cause them harm.

And as women we can change our world with our economic power.

But when we are giving our power away, then we are not fully stepping up to the calling that’s there for us. And we normally do this because our money confidence is often lagging behind.

For anyone who follows the news around women and money, it’s clear that many of the reasons that women lag behind men in financial areas are beyond any individual’s control—the persistence of the gender pay gap being a primary example.

Another issue is the ‘motherhood penalty’ which refers to research that shows that women see a significant reduction in earnings after having children, something that men are not subjected to.

In addition, we still have a tendency to give our power away – to our partners, financial advisers, or even our parents. And where we are giving our power away, then we are not fully stepping up to the responsibility, or the opportunity that’s there for us.

In addition to these challenges, many women are financially literate. This financial illiteracy results in women being unable to uplift themselves through sound financial decisions. And, as more women are single parents, they pass this lack of understanding on to their children. It makes generational upskilling difficult, which perpetuates the cycle of financial illiteracy.

The truth is that at some point in our lives, as women we will be financially responsible for ourselves.
While some disparities between the genders may be a long way from being resolved, feeling empowered about your financial knowledge is under your control as a woman.
There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. – Kofi Annan
Women’s economic empowerment – defined as women’s capacity to contribute to and benefit from economic activities on terms which recognise the value of their contribution, respect their dignity and make it possible for them to negotiate a fairer distribution of returns – is a prerequisite for achieving gender equality and building inclusive and prosperous societies.

But we can change it with our economic power. We can change it with our empowerment. But if you’re giving your power away around money, then you’re giving your power away full stop.

Financial empowerment gives us as women an opportunity to make big strides in our effort to address larger societal issues such as equality and justice, reproductive rights, poverty and domestic issues like financial abuse, as well as income security and retirement.

According to the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development, closing these gender gaps matters for development and policymaking. Greater gender equality can enhance economic productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions and policies more representative.

If we get empowered around money and start making decisions which are in line with our values, then we could absolutely transform what the world looks like.

This means deciding to contribute more to your Retirement Annuity and learn to invest so that if you choose to take time to have children you've created a buffer. It means having a wealth creation plan so that you're not reliant on your partner. It means asking for pay rises, and if you don't get it having the courage to seek out employment opportunities at a company that will help you earn your worth. Or if you own your own business, it means pricing your products appropriately, understanding the numbers and choosing to play a bigger game. It means being prepared to talk about money openly and candidly as just another thing that we can discuss because we have so much to learn from one another as women. It means speaking up and demanding equality for all the women not just in your circle of friends but around the world.

It's time we become good at managing our own finances because this is the only way we will smooth out the balance of power. May your 2020 be the year you experience financial independence, writing your own financial fairy tale and helping a sister or two along the way.


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