Women constitute around half the world’s population and their participation and contribution are a must for any country’s development. Women across the world, known for their excellent management skills in running a home, should not be dependent on men in making financial decisions involved in planning for retirement and making other investments.
Financial literacy, economic freedom and encouragement to form their own financial identity are essential aspects in the growth of girls. And if women take the financial lead in various sectors of the economy, they will give huge contributions to India’s GDP.
Women have started recognising their true potential and are doing extremely well in numerous areas such as politics, space, research, entertainment, literature and technology. Financial literacy will lift their status in society, and taking financial decisions independently may give them the confidence to take a stand against violence and sexual harassment.
Girls in rural areas are found to be ignorant of basic banking transactions such as cash deposits, transfer of funds to another account and use of debit cards. Financial knowledge and awareness are more widely spread among urban and highly educated women. It’s because they have more financial freedom and exposure. The governments hence must bridge the wide gap between urban and rural women in financial literacy and freedom.
Women tend to be risk-averse and prefer safe or low-risk investments such as fixed deposit, post office schemes, gold, insurance, provident fund and national saving certificate. Their decisions often revolve around the good of the family.
Though the Government of India has taken various initiatives to make women economically empowered and financially independent, more needs to be done to make them take control of their destiny.