Incentivised workshops – by Garima, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi

The most common word we hear these days is feminism and even though everyone, everywhere is talking about it, if we look closely we’ll still find how little we’ve achieved of its purpose.

A very basic example of this is finance. Most of the financial decisions in any household are generally taken by the male members of the house because in most cases women don’t have the knowledge or information needed to take these decisions as financial literacy among women is on an all-time low.

Financial literacy is not just about knowing how to handle money, it’s also about the proper application of that knowledge in day to day scenarios. And in a developing country like India where poverty is a colossal problem, proper financial education and financial literacy can come in very handy in managing budgets and expenses. It is therefore of utmost importance to promote and provide financial literacy to women across the country.

Be it lack of knowledge, confidence or awareness, women generally shy away from handling finances and this is seen to be even more so in case of rural households or women in blue collar jobs as compared to urban and corporate sectors.

Even though the RBI and the government have launched various initiatives through the years to promote financial literacy, a lot more still needs to be done to achieve complete financial literacy in the country, especially for women.

A lot of things could be done like conducting full-fledged workshops, providing online tutorials, campaigns, spreading awareness on social media platforms. But more than the awareness, the more difficult and important part is the implementation of financial knowledge correctly. Having said that, the entire process of promoting financial literacy becomes even more difficult when dealing with rural surroundings. People, more importantly, women belonging to vulnerable sections of the society like illiterate women or women involved in blue collar jobs are completely unaware about financial security and financial literacy and educating them about it is the need of the hour.

There are several ways to go about this. Detailed workshops could be held in the rural villages all over the country especially for women to educate them about finance, money, banking, financial security and investment in an easily understandable manner. These workshops could include tests, quizzes and create real-life situations to help them in the proper implementation of the knowledge,

But the major problem that arises here is that usually in rural areas women are either employed as daily wage workers or are too busy managing their daily household chores that taking out the time to attend a workshop on things they understand very little about may not seem like the best thing to do for them. So, to ensure maximum participation small incentives can be provided to everyone attending the workshop.  These incentives could include a small meal for the family of every woman attending the workshop or ration coupons that can be used in markets or providing them with monetary benefits based on their learning and performance in the workshops. These incentives would not only lure more and more women to attend these workshops but would also encourage them to learn, participate and give their best in these workshops. These workshops if implemented correctly could be a huge step in increasing financial security among women in the country, making them more confident and independent

Apart from this, financial education should be provided to students and children at high school and college level as well and in offices and workplaces for female employees.

A nation can never fully be developed till all its citizens are financially secure and they can only be financially secure when they’re financially educated.

Thus, these little steps if followed could go a long way in making India a fully developed and financially stable nation!

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