Women helping women – by Anjali, MKS College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai

Husband, children, parents and household chores; these are basically the four spheres that a typical Indian woman’s life revolves around. Starting at around five in the morning, the woman follows a very routinely disciplined schedule to facilitate an accurate management of the chores. Her work involves utmost sincerity and concentration, and yet, it has no financial benefits. She remains unpaid for the jobs she does with such humility. Those who do work as housemaids and other small scale workwomen are paid at a very nominal rate, which does not really give them a financial status. In addition, most of these include illiterate women who find themselves incapable of comprehending the wide range of opportunities present out there in the modern Indian society, owing to the lack of proper education.

A very interesting and effective example of spreading financial literacy amongst women was observed in Massachusetts, where two financially established women, namely Kathy Brough and Anita Saville, came up with the idea of educating homeless women under the principle of ‘women helping women’. They started an agency named ‘Budget Buddies’ where they employed a group of other financially educated women to educate others who were vulnerable and dependent. They started by collaborating with social service agencies to look for those women who were either impoverished, or those who were financially unstable owing to their inability to organize their expenses. Once they fetched the target audience, they engaged employees, who were women themselves, to pass on the erudition to the ones who sought help through one-hour workshops and one-to-one coaching. It proved very helpful to the women who were then able to establish a social status.

The idea of women educating women can be very effective in India, because not only would the women be able to manage their expenses and gain financial independence, they would also see their educators as role models, which would, in turn, inspire them to educate the upcoming generations. Since women in India spend most of their time in communicating with each other leisurely, this idea of spreading financial literacy through the same would definitely work out, as it also encourages empowerment of women to a large extent.

“Educate a woman, and leave it to her to educate generations.” Apart from giving them the education to gain financial stability, literacy gives women the power to pass it on to countless others. This can definitely be seen as a revolutionizing step taken for the development of the country in the long run.

(Reference: Meet the women who teach financial skills to the homeless)

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