31 August 2021
Give her a house and she will give you a home, give her groceries and she will prepare you a meal ... give a woman anything and she will give you something greater in return, so why shouldn't women play their part in the management of money?
August was Women's Month and Al Baraka Bank used this time to call for a break in the stereo-type.
Commenting on the need to afford women greater involvement in financial management, Ms Ayesha Haffejee, a Certified Financial Advisor at Al Baraka Bank, said: "We live in a society where women barely become involved in financial planning and wealth creation, in spite of the fact that, statistically, women live longer lives and require greater levels of wealth in order to sustain their lifestyles in old age."
"What we are unfortunately seeing is longer lives, but smaller financial nest-eggs. There can be no doubt that in the past several decades, women have made tremendous gains in personal and financial wellness. However, there is still a trail left to blaze. While women live longer than men, women have less wealth to fund their longer lives," added Ms Haffejee.
Women outlive men, yet their financial planning is seldom adequate.
"Women fear that they will run out of cash, but are afraid to have these discussions and do not know who to turn to, should they have the courage to take up the issue."
"As a financial advisor, especially in these pandemic-affected times, I have witnessed the fact that many women have been forced to take the reins of wealth management and wealth protection due to sudden death of a partner, but simply do not have either the knowledge or experience to deal with wealth management, as this has always been the domain of the man of the house. Many women do not even have their own bank accounts, but rely on allowances," she said.
Times are changing and the need to ensure women become 'financially fit' has become an imperative.
Ms Haffejee said she believed women feel more comfortable talking to other women about their finances.
"Women's Month was the ideal time to spell-out the need for women to take charge of their financial affairs, to acquaint themselves with money management and for more women to take up financial advisory positions in financial institutions. This should be promoted in our schools and tertiary education institutions. Women - and especially young women starting out in life - must become aware that life does not remain static. Financial priorities change throughout people’s lives, such as having to respond to changes in education, employment, family responsibilities and other key differentiators," she added.
Ms Haffejee stressed that many women today still regard talking about money as taboo, saying it is easier to discuss spending, rather than financial wellness and saving.
"Women’s longevity, compounded by the earnings and wealth gaps, makes it critical that women take the necessary steps now towards achieving their own financial wellness. All too often women work to meet the commitments of the people they care about and only realise, close to retirement, that they have not built a nest egg for themselves. The message is clear, we need to educate our women about effective wealth management," Ms Haffejee emphasised.