Founder & CEO, Xceltrip, Gyapu Marketplace
How many times have you waived off the conversations about money, savings, investments, and tax filings under the carpet purely because you failed to gather your head around the topic?
While the world is only moving forward and the future seems brighter with more women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, what is alarming is the lack of awareness and interest levels in financial independence among women.
If knowledge is power, then financial dependence is the ultimate relinquishment of power. Financial independence is paramount and willful ignorance is the quickest way to financial instability.
Writing a cheque, opening a bank account, and filing taxes are all things that we weren’t taught in schools. When we grew up, there was always someone you could bank upon: father, husband or boyfriend. The onus of deciding where to invest, how to plan for a rainy day, how to save for retirement funds, how to take advantage of compound interest, and when to invest was passed off to someone else purely due to lack of interest to know the important matters of life or due to lack of confidence.
For true women’s empowerment, financial independence is of utmost importance. Financial understanding is very crucial to financial independence for women. What’s happening to the economy of your state and your country, global affairs and its impact on the economy, its cascading effect on your personal life and business, what are the prices of various important commodities are some of the main topics that women must pay attention to. So, financial independence needs to be adopted by one and all.
DJ Bki Cool
As someone who has been trying to be financially independent from the age of 16, I believe financial independence is the first step towards empowerment, regardless of gender.
I personally know a lot of ambitious women who have reached great heights in life because they chose not to be dependent on anyone. I also know women with great potential who do not have the luxury of choosing financial independence because of the patriarchal pressure on them. Eventually, I have observed that they have had to live a rather compromised life.
Being able to fund your interests brings out a sense of empowerment that holds utmost value in today’s generation. Yet, when it comes to making financial decisions relating to their homes, most women struggle with having their voices heard. We all know about the stereotypical view of men steering all financial decisions and hence being labelled as “providers”. This stereotype is mainly the reason that has led to women having very little say in decisions made at home. Giving women the choice to be financially self-sufficient, I believe, will help them be more assertive in such matters. Not only this, it will also help build preparedness around any unforeseen events, eventually leading to lesser financial burden on just one “provider” of the family.
However, being financially independent does not hold much value if one is not equipped with financial literacy. Financial independence can only sustain in a longer term when we have the ability to understand and use financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting and investing.
CEO, Explore Gadgets
It is a basic necessity and requirement for everyone living in the 21st century. There is a satisfying feeling of dignity and sense of accomplishment when one is independent, and I don’t see any reason for women to not experience this passion.
As much as I love to splurge on pampering and gifts for the most important women in my life, I am always happy and proud that all of them are financially literate and capable. I even go to them for advice for work decisions often because they look at things with a different perspective than I do. In fact, women with financial literacy will be able to grow their family’s finances as a whole and assist in long-term decision making, which is no less than financial independence.
In my opinion, being independent is the solution that gives women the freedom to lift themselves out of complex situations without having to rely on others to do that for them. This skill is immensely needed especially in a country like ours where male dominance is very prominent. And we all know how liberating that can feel. When women earn for themselves, they are immediately more in control of their lives, like everyone else.
Financial independence provides more confidence to everyone allowing them more autonomy to take decisions on their own and experience things they wanted to. This is very important in case of women in Nepal who often give up their dreams and wishes being more dependent on their parents or spouses because they didn’t get the opportunity to get a good education during their early age or because they were restricted in their new homes. From the perspective of a young girl/ a recent college graduate who has been in the shadow of parents and financial dependent for a long period of time, the first step of change from the patriarchal system as they enter into their professional life could be financial independence. Financial autonomy will allow them to live their life freely and according to their own choices.
Also, in the case of Nepal, having a financially independent woman in the house will help the family share the expenses collectively and manage emergencies. In times like Covid crisis, this has been seen as a prominent issue in many middle class families where husbands are the sole breadwinners. For women, it also increases their self-worth specially in a society like ours where gender equality is still an issue in many households. I have experienced that at my own office.
My eldest sister was married at a young age when she hadn’t event completed her schooling. She recently got a job in a government office and now she has started contributing to family expenses. I find her more confident, more engaged in family decisions related to monetary expenses and her voice is more heard in the financial discussions at home these days. She is a mother to three children.
Also there is a popular saying that “There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.” So it is very important for everyone to be independent in all aspects.
National Badminton Player
Everyone should be independent in every aspect. Since we are talking about women’s financial independence, it is even more important for them to compete in this competitive world as we all know gender equity and equality plays a vital role for the development of society. I have seen the financially independent women in my family support the family.
From excelling in areas like the arts, sports, governance to pursuing the profession of their choice, from winning the world with their beauty and grace to landing in space and beyond, women have come a long way in empowering themselves. Women being financially independent is not only immensely important for a family but it is also equally important for the society to grow, a country to progress, and for the world to be a better place to live in.