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Women empowerment strategies‏

HE government has pledged to work closely with stakeholders in the private sector to realise initiatives aimed at empowering women.
Stella Manyanya

Deputy Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training Eng Stella Manyanya said in Dar es Salaam yesterday at an event to mark the commemoration of CRDB Bank International Women Day that the government recognises bank’s efforts to support women empowerment programmes.

During the event, CRDB Bank donated 20m/- to the Tanzania Education Authority (TEA) for the construction of girls’ dormitories across the country, an initiative seen to create conducive learning environment in a bid to promote the quality of education.

“Through its various products and services CRDB Bank has been playing the fundamental role in empowering and realising women dreams in life,” she said and urged other institutions to emulate the bank’s example.

Eng Manyanya said the International Women’s Day is an opportunity to look at how far all the stakeholders have come in delivering gender equality.

It is also a chance to consider the best ways to continue toward true parity the 2016 theme call upon on How to Pledge for Parity in the workplace, she said.

She challenged women to make effective use of the opportunities from financial services to access loans to start and expand their businesses to contribute to economic growth.

On her part, the CRDB Bank Deputy Managing Director Ms Esther Kitoka said in recognition of the CRDB Bank’s International Women Day, some counters will be set aside in all its branches to serve women only.

She said promoting gender balance and equality is given top priority with women employed by the CRDB Bank constituting 44 per cent of the total number of employees. The bank is a home for more than two million employees.

“Women should make use of the Women Access to Finance Initiative (WAFI) and MALKIA account to access various financial products and services in order to realise their dreams in life,” she said.

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FIRMS STRUGGLE TO CONNECT WITH WOMEN AS THEY GROW IN WEALTH

By Savita Iyer-Ahrestani on Financial Planning

I just read this article on FP site and found it very true and informative.

To all Financial institutions and advisors , women and Finances should be your target for 2013. The study was done on US market but can equally relate to our markets.

Financial advisors who think of women as a minority market segment probably need to think again.

Studies indicate that women are becoming a majority rather than a minority and represent one of the fastest growing client segments in the U.S.—a segment that both large financial firms and independent financial advisors cannot afford to ignore going forward.

Consider that 53% of women who participated in a recent Prudential Financial survey entitled “Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women” are now the primary breadwinners for their families.

“Whether it’s because of their partners losing their jobs, because of divorce or because they’re deciding to marry later, women are increasingly becoming the major breadwinners in their households,” says Caroline Feeney, president of agency distribution at Prudential Financial. “We expect that this trend will continue as women are also graduating from school at a higher rate than men, successfully getting into the workforce and then succeeding at their jobs and rising in the ranks.”

All these social shifts have resulted in a sharp increase in women’s earning power and wealth creation power, says Teresa Dentino, founder and CEO of The Financial 411, a financial educationfirm in Woodside, Calif. Women today make up just under half of the nation’s millionaires, she says, and some have forecasted that they will hold two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2030.

Although many firms have recognized the great business potential that women represent and have begun to make serious efforts to better understand women and cater to them in a more productive and profitable way, Dentino believes that most still have a long way to go before they get a proper handle on how to really connect with women.

“While many firms are definitely taking note of the importance of women today, they still don’t quite know how to approach women in a meaningful way and to really understand women’s requirements,” she says.

Dentino believes that women need education more than anything else. As much as they may hold the wealth, most women have not had the direct experience needed to understand finance and financial planning, she says, so the onus is on financial professionals to give them the knowledge and understanding they need so that “women can connect the dots.”

“By educating women, you include them and this helps mitigate the lack of trust and fear they hold,” she says. “Education equals engagement plus empowerment.”

However, there’s a way to educate. More than anything, women don’t want to be talked down to, Dentino says, and the majority of financial advisors still feel like they have to “dumb things down” in order for women to understand them. Finding the right balance between bombarding women with technical jargon, graphs and numbers, on one hand, and “talking with them about their grandchildren or their kid’s school bake sale,” on the other, is the biggest challenge for advisors who want to reach out to women, Dentino says.

According to the Prudential survey, one in three women do not have a financial advisor but they are eager to work with an advisor to gain the tools and knowledge that they need.

“Advisors therefore need move from a transactional-based model to more of a relationship-based model, with a greater focus on education,” Feeney says. “The only way that women can become more confident about themselves and their financial planning abilities is when they get the knowledge they need and when they feel they can trust their advisor.”

According to Feeney, trust is at the core of what a woman wants from a financial advisor and is paramount in the female-advisor relationship.

“Our study showed that women are more apt to stick with an advisor once they have that trust in place, and they are more likely to place multiple products and service with one advisor,” Feeney says. “So while it may be additional work upfront in terms of education – both educating advisors on the importance of recognizing women as a potential market opportunity and then teaching them how to approach women correctly – I do believe that at the end of the day, it will be more than worth it for advisors to help female clients.”

That’s what Dentino believes, too, and she’s working with numerous financial firms to help them develop programs and train their sales staff on the many levels of adjustments they can make to better engage and serve their female clients.

 

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More wives Bring Home more of the Bread

Let me start by saying “Happy Happy Women’s Day.”

We have had a long journey but we have come to a time when women are seen as equal with men – in the social, political and business environment.

The number of women earning more than their husbands has gradually been rising for years, but the pace appeared to quicken during the Great Recession of 2007-09. Nearly 38 percent of wives earned more than their husbands in 2009, according to the latest data from US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, up about 3 percentage points from 2008.

I recently came across an article titled “Tanzania: Empowered Women Support Husbands Financially With Loans” The article described how Women Empowerment program In Zanzibar (WEZA) benefited the families and improved the quality of their lives from the savings they made and loans accessed. “I lost hope with life when my shop collapsed and I fell sick only to find out that I was HIV positive. The stigmatization from the community was so bad I had no will to live” says Salim Abdalla whose wife helped him revive his shop after taking a loan of 400,000/- from WEZA.

Mary Gatta, a senior scholar with the advocacy and research organization Wider Opportunities for Women, said it’s hard to say exactly what is behind the trend of wives earning more than husbands, she thinks it’s because of the recession.

“The recession is a significant factor here in that during the recession we saw higher numbers of men lose their jobs,” Gatta said.

The official period of economic contraction, from December 2007 to June 2009, was so hard on men that some people dubbed it the “mancession” because so many men lost their jobs. However, in the years of weak economic recovery that followed, women were harder hit while men started to gain jobs again.

The trend appears to have started to even out in recent months. Still, Gatta noted, that there are other, longer-term factors at work. For example, women have been graduating from college at higher rates than men for years. Workers with a college degree generally have higher earning potential than those without one.

“It’s more than just the recession,” Gatta said. Even in the families where wives make more than their husbands, she notes, many are struggling to get by – whether they have one or two salaries. In some cases women may be earning more their husbands because he lost a job or endured a pay cut.

In Tanzania, We have an image of (the wives) being the CEO of big financial Institutions, political Leaders; and even successful businesswomen. Taking an example of Dr. Marina Njelekela, recently appointed Executive director of Muhimbili National hospital, Hon. Anna Makinda, the Speaker of Parliament in Tanzania to mention but a few. I expect that women’s earnings will continue to be a key to many families’s financial survival.

I think the recession did not shift the course; it accelerated the course we were already on.

We are empowered and no more just watchers but doers. ” Women are are the real architects of society.”- Harriet Beecher Stowe

Be proud to be a woman!

MF.

 

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