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Five Stereotypes Around Women And Money That Need To Be Busted

Considering that those days are long gone and women today are claiming an equal seat at the table and proving their prowess, shouldn’t women be empowered to handle their own finances?

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Kalyani Ganesan
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It’s 2023, and women are breaking glass ceilings in several fields, crushing the stereotypical norms that held them back from reaching great heights. Despite women like Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Sudha Murty, Indra Nooyi, and Falguni Nayar holding the top spot among successful Indian entrepreneurs, the conventional mindset that women aren’t efficient enough to handle money is still prevalent.
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According to a recent survey, almost 67% of working women continue to be dependent on their male family members for financial decisions. It was found that more than half of the working women were only making decisions regarding discretionary expenses on their own. Only 1/4 of working women were making independent financial decisions. Another 1/4 of them claimed that they found investments "complex and confusing." Only 22% of working women were not influenced by anyone in making financial decisions.

Women Money Stereotypes

It's a common misconception that all working women are financially independent. True financial independence comes only when women have their own bank accounts, savings, and investments and decide what to do with their money. But in the majority of households, male members believe that they are entitled to make financial decisions because they feel that women aren’t competent to handle finances.

Where did this mindset stem from? We can undeniably date it back to the traditional belief that men would provide while women were responsible for caring for the family. But considering that those days are long gone and women today are claiming an equal seat at the table and proving their prowess, shouldn’t women be empowered to handle their own finances?

Women are bad with money

This is a basic stereotype when it comes to women and money. Thanks to movies and memes, women have been shown to be impulsive spenders. However, historically, women have proven to be careful spenders. In fact, Indian women have always had the habit of saving for rainy days. They know how to get quality products for the best price and lead a decent life with whatever they have. Haven’t most of us seen Indian women saving up money inside the rice or wheat jar since the olden days?

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Women are inefficient at managing finances

While men in the family are okay with women handling household and domestic work finances, they don’t trust women when it comes to huge investments. It’s more of a social conditioning and gender role that women should only be limited to making financial decisions with regard to household expenses. However, if women are capable of running a household and can budget, ration, and save with whatever amount they are handed, why is it believed that they can’t apply the same skill to other financial decisions?

Women are not smart enough to understand finances.

Yet again, this belief stems from age-old patriarchal norms. The fact is, women, including our mothers and grandmothers, are eager to learn new technology and apply it. Be it credits or debit cards, internet banking, or mobile banking, they aspire to learn it, and from personal observation among my family and friends, I’ve seen women learn it quicker than men. When there is no substantial proof to support the claim that women are slow learners and would be unable to understand new technologies, how is it fair to keep them at bay just because they are women?

Women’s jobs are not making money

This notion continues to linger even today, dating back to ancient times when women were confined inside the home, doing domestic chores and taking care of children. At some point or another, women are expected to drop their careers, passions, and dreams and become full-time homemakers, thus making them financially dependent on male family members. The male ego is sometimes hurt when women are financially independent because it gives women the freedom to live life on their own terms, leading to men losing control over them.

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Women don’t need financial protection

Most often, the first member of the family to get health insurance or life insurance is the male family member because it is perceived that they are the primary breadwinners. Even in families where both men and women are working, the bias is equally prevalent. Instead of assuming that women would be helpless in the event that something unfortunate happened to men, why doesn't society empower women to be self-sufficient?

Image Credits: IOL

Views expressed by the author are their own. 


Suggested Reading: On The Influence Of Financial Independence And Empowerment Of Women

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