Multi-pronged approach – by Anurag, Jadavpur University, KolkataTeam Ace
Financial literacy is one of the most pressing necessities for an adult individual to possess, particularly in the context of India, residence to approximately 17.5 percent of the world’s population of which 76 percent of the total legal adults are peculiarly ignorant of the terminologies and dealings of basic finance. To make matters worse, India’s antiquarian history of misogyny and female repression had relegated female knowledge regarding financial literacy almost void for the longest time. Situations have improved, owing to government and institutional intervention, with banks inaugurating several policies to promote financial education, alongside welfare organizations, charities and NGOs dedicated to empowerment and education. In this light, there are certain steps which can be taken to expedite this literacy.
Instruct the youth
The capacity to learn is never as intense and enthusiastic as is during one’s childhood, and as such, emphasizing the value of monetary information alongside functional literacy is crucial, especially in school.
Devices and social media
Although more urban women are privy to financial literacy than rural, many of them leave off financial responsibilities for male members of the family; since a sizable portion of urban women own mobile phones, information regarding financial literacy can be distributed through automated phone calls, text messages and so on. All this is disregarding the obvious exposure of social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) since only 12 percent of female cellphone users use internet services according to a 2015 survey by the GSMA, but it is still relevant to carry on with online procedures.
Reaching the rural and suburban areas
Evidently, a majority of rural and suburban women do not own cell phones and are not sufficiently exposed to information. They need to be informed by any and all means available- newspapers, posters and leaflets, streetplays, screening of documentaries etc. Government organizations and NGOs can step in to create teams for financial pedagogy to be conducted in towns and villages periodically, especially for adult middle-aged women deprived of basic education, about the definitions of finance, interests, loans, particularly inflation and cost, all of which exert a significant effect on the economy of the household.
Motivating online banking
Only 35 percent of the Indian population have bank accounts, and enormous numbers of them don’t use them for transactions. India is still heavily reliant on cash exchange, a tendency that needs to be mediated. Furthermore, women should be instructed on the perks of online banking (digital wallets, the Universal Payment Interface etc.) and afforded with resources (phones, proper banking instalments in towns and villages, inquiry stations) to utilize them.
Motivating the family
Although this sounds reductive, India being an overtly patriarchal community, women face social and cultural impediments in the way of asserting their own intellectual liberty. Therefore, the members of one’s family, especially the men, need to be instructed on the necessity of pervasive financial literacy for the greater good.
Although insufficient, this forms a more or less basic structural framework to approach financial equanimity in one of the world’s largest purported democracies.