It’s a long-held truth that if you uplift women, you uplift society. Women have come a long way in empowering themselves, excelling in areas from arts and sport, to business and politics.
Yet, when it comes to their finances most women still shy away.
A Financial Wellness Component Score in a Momentum/Unisa Household Financial Wellness Index once revealed that households led by female FKPs (Financially Knowledgeable Persons, i.e. the budget holder) have less education, lower salaries, lower net wealth and education scores, when compared to their male counterparts. This has hurt the overall level of the financial wellness of female FKP households. “Women need financial independence because it gives them the autonomy to shape their future,” says Charlotte Nsubuga-Mukasa, Head of Marketing at Momentum.
As women continue to fight to shatter the barriers of success, they are increasingly empowered to reach greater achievements, yet too many remain uninvolved in the financial decision-making processes in their households and about their financial well-being.
“We are increasingly witnessing women rising to the top of their chosen fields, boldly claiming their success and owning it, but are still hesitant about being financially independent,” says Nsubuga-Mukasa.
The journey to financial freedom
“As women, we need to understand our financial positions better, while being cognizant of the shifts towards success that can and do take place,” added Nsubuga-Mukasa
“These shifts include, as discovered by the index, a critical need to improve women’s ability to take control of situations, their financial literacy, their access to affordable and quality financial advice, assistance with financial planning and goal setting, as well as providing them with the opportunity to gain relevant experience in the workplace. Money provides security and freedom to manage one’s own life, to challenge oneself to a greater purpose and to achieve goals that might seem unattainable,” she said.
An active role in decision-making
According to Ana Scott, a Momentum financial adviser, many women still rely on the men in their lives to assist with financial planning and decision-making. “There is a paradigm shift happening and we are starting to see a change in this regard, but we are far from where we need to be. Women must become more financially literate and take responsibility for their financial well-being,” she says.
“As women, we need to step up to the plate and take charge of our financial futures ourselves, making decisions independently from our husbands, brothers, uncles and fathers. When managing finances with a partner it is essential to take an active role in the process and be part of the decision-making,” she continues.
As an adviser, Scott says she has seen first-hand the repercussions that a lack of financial knowledge or understanding of policies and investment portfolios has had on women. “Women must be upskilled to be confident enough to make their own informed decisions. When we empower women with financial literacy, we enable them to make an even bigger impact and bring a great change in their lives.”
Charlotte Nsubuga – Mukasa
Head of Marketing