Women, have you considered creating wealth for your children?

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Every day I meet smart, intelligent, hard-working, committed women who, despite their skills and talents, do not own a single tangible asset of their own and incapable of managing and investing money to create wealth.

The challenges facing today’s women has made it increasingly difficult for them to think about creating wealth for themselves and for the generation after them.

Growing up, my grandmother used to have a big shop at the old Gbagi in Ibadan; she was somewhat an Ankara merchant. She was very skillful in business and prudent in keeping her money. I am however unaware of any wealth which accrued for the purpose of generational wealth that could have made her write a will and bequeath her tangible assets to her loved ones.

An overwhelming majority of women struggle with wealth creation, property ownership or asset acquisition. Most women are not empowered to think in this direction; for some, the asset they own is jointly owned or not properly documented as owned by them.

Women in Africa are mostly vulnerable with respect to this issue as most of them lack decision making power, they have been conditioned to think they need not focus on issues around wealth creation and a greater percentage of women earn less wages than men.

The African society does not create an enabling environment for most women; especially women who live in rural communities to be able to have economic power to allow them create wealth.

Many seem to be overwhelmed with caring  more for the home than considering the issue of wealth creation. The society has not also helped in the expectation placed on women which gives that little or no right to wealth creation or asset acquisition.

If women are empowered to take chances, aspire to greater opportunities, and manage downside risk for themselves and their families, then they can take more control over their lives. And if they can access essential services that help increase their capabilities or make better use of their time, then they are better able to invest in productive, income-generating activities that can benefit the entire family and community.

There is also the cultural aspect; most women have been conditioned in their entire lives to believe they have no right or power to create wealth. How then can they seize opportunities and build resilience? Only when women can see these pathways for themselves — and have the material and legal supports in place to walk down them — are they able to take control over their own fates. [cgap.org]

Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees. But they also remain excessively affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation. Women often end up in insecure, low-wage jobs, and constitute a small minority of those in senior positions. This condition curtails access to economic assets such as land and other properties for women. It limits participation in shaping economic and social policies. And, because women perform the bulk of household work, they often have little time left to pursue economic opportunities [unwomen.org]

In the majority of countries, women’s wages represent between 70 and 90% of men’s, with even lower ratios in some Asian and Latin American countries.

As of 2011, 50.5% of the world’s working women were in vulnerable employment, often unprotected by labour legislation, compared to 48.2% for men. Women were far more likely than men to be in vulnerable employment in North Africa (55 versus 32%), the Middle East (42 versus 27%) and sub-Saharan Africa (nearly 85 versus 70 per cent). [unwomen.org]

Women, therefore, need to understand that wealth creation goes beyond having a bank account and putting their children or spouse as next of kin.  Women need to start taking ownership of life process and creating a balance at the home front and getting economic empowerment which guides mostly to wealth creation.

Are you a woman? Have you given any thought to acquiring tangible asset for passing on to your loved ones? Or better still have you considered creating wealth for the generation that is to come? I would like to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts

Omolara Garuba LLB, BL, PMP

Founder, Global Mentoring Club [Young Lawyers’ Hub]



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