Gender bias in ‘Money Matters’

- By Aastha Prasad

Not long back, I had scant interest in Finance & Taxation issues. And I had noticed that in most families, the onus to deal with finance and consequential taxes, rests with the men. Even if the women in the family are earning, they willy nilly abdicate this responsibility in favour of their husbands!

Do women generally feel underconfident in handling the conundrums of finances? I personally hold different opinion. Let me play Devil’s Advocate! Universally, women are the home-managers! They manage their ‘home budgets’ so well that they are historical envy for the Finance Ministers in all tax jurisdictions, worldwide! They more often than not deal with the intricacies of finances so well that they end up swelling the household savings account for the economy. And, mind it, this is equally true for not-so-educated women as well!

Then, the million-dollar question is – Why do they behave so diffident about finances and taxation?  

Perhaps, the dearth of experience towards financial planning or dependence on their spouses or parents prevents them from demonstrating their natural skills. Secondly, the patriarchs have historically been discouraging women from getting involved in money matters. This leads to perpetuation of what the UN describes as ‘gender inequality’!  The true commemoration of International Women’s Day would be the reversal of this historical wrong!

What goes to substantiate my viewpoint is the recent CII Survey which underscores the fact that 56.67 per cent of women entrepreneurs make their financial decisions independently, while 38.71 percent make decisions jointly by involving their spouse, father or another important persons in their families. I sincerely hope that all those menfolk and corporate entities who are on oath to promote gender equality, just need to give women opportunities which they will seize and would never yield space to any ‘ competing gender’!