Tue. Dec 18th, 2018

Girl to Woman by Edwina Delamore

BELGIUM – There are many bridges a girl has to cross to become a woman… In today’s society, there is much emphasis put on her age, as the main milestones of becoming a woman. But for many girls it’s not a matter of when you become a woman, but more the matter of a lottery system…. of which culture, you are born into.

In Europe where I live, when a girl reaches 18 she is considered to have reached womanhood. While there are some cultures that live within Europe that still stick to their homestead traditions. That put emphasis on the moment a girl starts her menstrual cycle; that she has reached womanhood. She’s then expected to take on what is considered the traditional roles of “The Woman”.

Now, I’ve lived 4 decades and have seen many attempts to bring as much attention to the plight of the girl and her rights. But then I ask myself, if we still must do this in 2018, how much better off are girls today than in 1977, the year I was born?

You would think by now, the pressures put on girls would have been taken away! If girl already grew up and given the same opportunities to have shelter, food, education, careers and money as boys, I wonder how much more productive could our societies have already been functioning?

Girl…It’s Disturbing!

As this is a magazine that advocates for women of color and my column is about personal finance, I want to put some financial statistics out there for you:

 {…. minority women earn 84.4% of what visible minority men earn, based on median annual income for full-time workers.22 . Visible minority women earn 70.1% of what all men earn.23} Source of the information: https://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/womens-earnings-wage-gap

Making 30% less than all men, IS DISTURBING! I too have encountered this throughout my career. So, if we as colored women are still struggling to get an even share of the salary pie. Can you already see the disadvantage our little girls are come into the world with?

Therefore, is it not important as women of color to understand our finance and get it in order? I believe for every woman who understands her finances, she can pass this knowledge onto a girl, who in turns uses this to improve her situation and hopefully pass this knowledge to her children. Because when you Empower the next generation of “girl children” it enables societies to improve the way girls are treated.

We keep hearing how the money earned by women gets put back into society, so can you imagine how effective the knowledge on how to manage finances could transform the lives many families?

Nikhita on Unsplash

Challenge yourself…

Ok, my question to you as a woman of color… if you had the opportunity, in your life time, to help close that 30% gender pay gap. And give the next generation of girls the freedom to blossom into their potential, would you be up for the challenge?

Many organizations are making strides! Some important efforts that I follow are that of the ‘Global Partnership for Education (GPE for short) https://www.globalpartnership.org/focus-areas/girls-education.  Their vision is to improve girls’ education and gender equality by 2020. Now I can only see a ‘WIN-WIN’ situation for everyone. But I still felt the need for finance to be part of that vision.

I also follow https://www.aflatoun.org/ that has created an international and dynamic network of partner organization. They include a theme ‘Financial Independence and Entrepreneurship’. Which I believe has been missing over the years from many organizations trying to do their part to end poverty and gender gap.

Now, earlier I mentioned, the challenge and I can imagine the question lingered in your mind. What challenge? As the month of October is #Awareness month. I want you to reach out to at least 1 girl this month and make her aware the 6 jar money management system.

Source: https://blog.harveker.com/6-step-money-managing-system/

What is the 6-jar money management system?

The 6-jar system, effectively gives purpose to money as you learn how to manage money; not only for now, but for the long term. For an adult, the list would look different than from that of a child, but the good thing is, it can be done as a fun activity! Each of you get six bottles write on each jar an important goal for the month, choose a total amount you think you are most likely to spend during the month and then depending on what percentage you give to that jar, you put the equivalent amount of money that into the jar. This way you can hold yourself accountable and teach the same thing to the young girl.

Below are 2 list with suggestions:

ADULTS

Suggestions

Percentage Example CHILDREN

Suggestions

Percentage example
Determine an amount

Total = 100%

Determine an amount

Total = 100%

Food Gifts

15%

Telephone

20%

Magazine

20%

Eat out

25%

Jewellery
Movies

15%

Movies

50%

Travel Travel
Make up

20%

Make up

10%

Donation Donation

5%

Church

10%

Candy
Save

10%

Save

10%

Baby sister

Conclusion

We can wait and wait and wait. Complain, complain and complain some more that the government and the school systems should do more to teach finance from a young age. But why keep putting the responsibility on a system that will not change? Are we not just spinning around in circles trying to catch our tail? So here is my twist on the late American President Kennedy’s words… Ask not what your country can do for young girls…, but what together as Women of Color, we can do for the freedom of young girls! (source: Inaugural speech of President Kennedy on 20th January 1961)

To learn more about me on click here: https://en.gravatar.com/csgwealth

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Girl to Woman by Edwina Delamore

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