Discussing the 16 days of activism against violence and abuse of women and children, we touched the role of money in abuse for women. And some of the thoughts that came out are if women are not financially liberated some of the abuse will not stop. And this liberation has to take many forms as financial abuse for women is mostly institutionalised: in marriage, culture, corporate, religion and so forth. For some women to get that next promotion or salary raise the boss asks for a sexual favour, subtle financial abuse, in marriage a man is regarded as the head of the household hence often responsible for the financial business of the family and women often having little or no say even if they are also bringing an income, in churches women often encouraged to submit which often has grey areas in terms of holding each other accountable in matters of mutual interest like finances in the household. To a great degree the institutionalised financial abuse for women has contributed to deep conditioning on how women see themselves, that is their self-image and self-worth. While there is arguments to say some women stay in abusive relationships because they can not financially afford to leave, I also argue that it is more a self-image and self-worth issue. If one has a positive view of self, and value themselves they will be able to walk away, however the conditioned woman rarely has that strong self-worth.To address financial abuse we have to challenge the effects of conditioning, which in most cases is conditioned conformity. Women have to empower self or be empowered to become aware of their own true potential and contribute to health relationships by showing up authentically. To liberate self from financial abuse, women need to:
- Raise self-awareness, know who really they are not what they were told they ought to be
- Become financially literate, educate self on finances so they are not ignorant when financial decisions that affect them are being made
- Build self-confidence so they can negotiate and assert self in a relationship without fear of losing the relationship and also not let their nurturing nature get in the way of financial decisions
- Lead self in finances, that is have financial vision and goals, look past loss of job, divorce or death of spouse and be able to see continuity past such setbacks
- Have financial boundaries, as women they are often helping the whole tribe, nieces, nephews and so forth without putting their own safety mask first
- Regularly check credit scores of self and partner in cases where there is marriage in CoP
- Emotionally heal from past trauma that can leave one vulnerable and unable to make clear financial decisions, before making huge financial decisions.
This list in not exhaustive, but a few things that can help women avoid financial abuse.