Why is financial independence for women important?
We all know women have been victims of the patriarchal setup of society for centuries. Though we still have miles to go before we have an egalitarian society, recent years have seen a lot being said and done for empowering women. There are several organizations, activists, SHGs etc like CARE India, Women’s Global Empowerment Fund, Sarathi Development Foundation that are making significant contributions in women empowerment.
Oxford Dictionary defines empowerment as ‘the ability to control their life and claim their rights‘. No one can actually be said to be having control of one’s life without being financially independent. Also, financial dependence is one of the main reasons for the oppression of women. Women are often cultured to believe that they were born to do the household chores and to care for the husband, children and everyone else. Most girls, however talented, are never given the opportunity to get good education or if educated they are not allowed to work outside and earn. It is the females who are expected to sacrifice their dreams for the education of their brothers or for their husband’s careers. Even then they are always looked down upon as being dependent members. Their opinion is not taken seriously. Financial independence not only gives women confidence but also gives them the credibility to take decisions for themselves and their families. They can not only help to meet the expenses of households given the rising cost of living but can also prove to be a role-model for their children. Financially independent women become in charge of their lives. Having money of your own and being able to allocate it to whatever you wish is a great step towards women’s empowerment.
Though there is an increased effort in the direction of women empowerment, women still comprised only 26% of the total workforce in India in 2018. World stats looked no better. Women need to become more aware of their being. They need to realize what changes their increased participation in the workforce can bring.
How to become financially independent?
You don’t have to be a woman of a certain age with a professional degree to get a job and earn. You can be self-employed or make a good investment. You only need a good plan and a properly planned budget (can be big or small) to start.
- Planning is the first and foremost step. Instead of opting for the plans that others are following, plan according to your own budget, financial goals, and life-stage needs. You can take help from a professional financial planner.
- Invest in a fashion that meets goals and that the risk is distributed over a variety of instruments. It should be a judicious mix of equity, debt, etc.
- Save a specific amount of income every year and also build an emergency savings account. As a woman, it is crucial to be financially prepared to deal with unfortunate events like death or divorce.
- Keep a regular track of your investment.
- Get adequate insurance.
- Execute carefully and properly.