Are Women Not Considered Capable Enough Of Taking Financial Decisions?

Posted: November 30, 2019

Isn’t it ironical that the same person who is otherwise considered capable of running a home while even keeping a job falls off the consideration set when it comes to the really big decisions?

As a child, I used to think mothers were magicians. They could do just about anything. All you had to do was say the word and they could wave an invisible wand. My friends and I often embarked on covert missions, to identify the source of our mothers’ uncanny abilities. Were they born with it? Was it an embellished, shiny cape that did it? Or did they have a secret powder that they mixed into their masala teas.

An intensive investigation revealed that they had secret stashes of currency squeezed into all corners of the house. Small wads in the needle and thread box, some lay in plastic packets inside rice tins, others folded in socks. What creativity! Budgets would be shaved, frivolities curtailed, all to squeeze each penny to the hilt.

But even magicians can have their capes tethered… 

Have you ever wondered why women behave this way? It’s not because they have a penchant for hoarding or haggling, but maybe somewhere deep down, they realized that they have no real rein over the finances of the household and this might be their small but sure way of having a say. 

Running the home on a tight leash as a means of a contribution. Historically, responsibilities seemed to be defined anatomically by busts or beards. If you are a woman, your kingdom extends till the kitchen and running your home. If you are a man, beat your chest and become the provider and decider. Of-course, the ratio varies, and changing times have ensured the blurring of these definitions to some extent, but the invisible lines are drawn. 

Isn’t it ironical that the same person who is otherwise considered capable of running a home, taking care of each family member’s needs while even keeping a job, somehow falls off the consideration set when it comes to the really big decisions? And over a period of time, it becomes a matter of conditioning with respect to decisions around the future of the family, like investments, properties or even healthcare. 

My wake-up call

An example close to home showcased this unfortunate reality but also helped me understand how a woman can take a stand instead of being a mere spectator. Our neighbours’ otherwise simple and happy lives went topsy-turvy when the head of the household was diagnosed with a debilitating disease. With him in and out of the hospital, the realities came crashing in hard and fast. 

They watched silently, as every last drop of savings were whisked away to hospital bill desks. But the human spirit is indomitable. And a woman’s resolve even more so. Despite having lived a sheltered life and being harangued by opinionated relatives who didn’t want her stepping out of the house, she fought back, took up two jobs, ensured that every family member had a health cover henceforth and even managed to shush up her cantankerous family in the process, through her fortitude and dedication. 

Age, disease and the tides of time wash away much of what we build arduously like marcher ants over years. If the incidence of lifestyle and other communicable diseases is to be reviewed in the last few decades, it would be foolhardy to think that we can leave the protection of our families to chance. In-fact, inspired by our neighbour’s intelligence and tenacity, I decided to become the first daughter in our family to get health insurance covers for my parents and after marriage, for my in laws. 

After much survey and my own due diligence, I chose Aditya Birla Health Insurance for two big reasons – firstly, the policies and its terms were easy to understand and the testimony of people around me who ensured that their policies gave extensive coverage and settlements are fair. What more can we really ask for! 

When not in control… plan well

The baton has been passed on. I am the magician now! Grocery lists are squeezed harder than face cream tubes. Life goes on and we are all healthy and happy! But I will not take this blessing for granted. As women, it is an intrinsic impulse to do bigger and better things for the ones we love. So, the scrimping and saving can continue, but it is also prudent to look at options like health insurance covers as a less tedious and sure shot partner in this endeavor. 

Also, as we trundle along, I know there is someone watching me, my daughter, who emulates me in every way. I will leave her a special legacy. That of being a decision maker. Of being the one to step ahead and plan for and protect her family in every way instead of relying on others. Providing them a physical, emotional and financial cover so that they are never in a position where they feel helpless. And I’m sure this little magician will outshine me by leaps and bounds!

Do you take complete care of your family’s health, take the Khayaal-O-Meter test and find out now?

Image is a still from the movie Tumhari Sulu

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Richa started her writing journey as a child, scribbling away poems and stories for her

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