Economic inspiration at AWID

I attended an AWID session that spoke about women’s economic empowerment the other day and it got me thinking about personal development in regards to a woman’s relationship with money. I have been under a lot of pressure emanating from the realization that saving is a critical way to be economically independent. A healthy financial resource base means confidence, more options and empowerment.

Grace Chirenje's picture

Feminist Leader

April 23rd, 2012

I attended an AWID session that spoke about women’s economic empowerment the other day and it got me thinking about personal development in regards to a woman’s relationship with money. I have been under a lot of pressure emanating from the realization that saving is a critical way to be economically independent. A healthy financial resource base means confidence, more options and empowerment.

So as I sat there listening to what the other sisters were sharing from their narratives in India, their message resonated with me as I was already in a space where I was having some intra-personal dialogue around this.

Firstly, it is good to save. Many of us think that there is a day when we will have so much money and we can start saving, right? Well, the honest truth is that money will always be a “visitor” so there is a need to be deliberate about saving so that no matter what we go through, that reserve is there.

It means we must deliberately plan to set aside – within a particular period of time – some financial resources that will enable us to meet a specific need in the future be it buying a house, meeting school fees issues, children’s trust funds – you name it, the list is endless! Take a moment and reflect on your situation and make a decision to start saving from now.

Secondly, as young African sisters, some of us could have missed the opportunity of guardians that encouraged us to save. I was speaking to a sister at the AWID Forum and she shared how she and her husband are teaching their two daughters to save.

Well, it is not all of us who have had the privilege to be mentored on saving. However, it is never too late to change so I would like to take this moment to say, it is not where you came from that matters but where you are going. Build on this current wisdom and use what your history has taught you so you save. In that light too, mentor other young women to save so that they may transform their financial life. It would be a great starting point for breaking the chain of poverty in yours and others lives!

Lastly, as I reflect on the discourse on women’s economic empowerment at the AWID Forum, I am energized to share with all my sisters out there that unless we have economic independence we are short of a healthy decision making voice. Have you noticed how those with a healthy financial base are confident, have more choices or rather options and even an influential voice?

If the young woman of today is going to make a true difference in the contemporary world, there is need for her to start and start now to be economically independent. So what is stopping us, let us start saving now and do it well…and we will all see the difference.

About the author(s)

Grace Chirenje is a growing feminist leader from Harare, Zimbabwe. Her background is in the humanities. She holds an Honours degree in African Languages and Culture, and a Masters in Leadership and Management. She is currently studying towards her PhD in Gender, Feminism and Sexualities with a minor in Leadership. Grace’s passion is working with women and girls and helping them reach their full potential. Grace is known for her magnanimity, energy and strong dedication to life and her work in all its facets. She is also a writer, mother, wife, sister and talk-show host. She works hard to juggle her athletic and relaxation activities with her work, research and role as a black African feminist leader. Twitter handle:

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