Why Is It Important to Increase Financial Literacy Among Women?
Anna Zelentsova about realisation of the project of the Russian Ministry of Finance
National project for increasing financial literacy is being realised in Russia since 2011. It is aimed at all social layers. Women are an important part of the project’s target audience. Anna Zelentsova, supervisor of the project, told why it was important to increase their financial literacy and what success had already been achieved while realising programmes.
Anna Zelentsova - Advisor to the Director of the Ministry of Finance Project 'Enhancing People's Financial Literacy and Developing Financial Education in the Russian Federation'
It is recognised in Russia and on the international level that promoting financial literacy is as important of a skill as reading and writing. Every day people make financial transactions and deal with money matters. Their quality of life and prosperity depends on how they act in those situations, prevent risks, and use opportunities.
In most cases, it is women who deal with housekeeping, planning budget, and cost control. It means that family welfare depends on their financial literacy.
Besides, women bring up children. It is important that they teach the coming generation to correctly deal with finance and approach any money matter responsibly.
Another reason to increase women’s financial literacy is that there is a pay gap. Moreover, women retire earlier and live longer than men do. In this regard, it is more difficult for them to build savings in order to secure a comfortable and decent old age. They often spent a lot of money on children in their youth and adulthood. Anna Zelentsova thinks that we must stick to the ‘plane rule’ in such cases. It is recommended to put an oxygen mask on yourself first and only then on children. That principle works in life as well.
It is important that women can ensure financial security in future and find ways to build pre-retirement savings beforehand.
The Russian Ministry of Finance’s project managed to massively reach women and get on TV. Thus, elements of increasing financial literacy in the series named ‘Ne v dengakh shchastye’ (English: money can’t buy happiness). The main character works in bank. She helps people correctly use cards, not get to the tricks of fraudsters, and use various bank services. The series became very popular.
A big family festival is held twice a year in Moscow within the framework of the project. It gathers a number of women from different regions of Russia. Many come to the festival with their husbands and children. Every member of the family finds an activity to their liking. Children do arts and crafts and sell them at the fair learning basics of the financial literacy. Adults visit lectures and participate in workshops.
Festival speakers are financial experts and famous people who share their secrets of economy, finance management, and children upbringing.
The project’s separate direction is related to staff training. Schoolteachers who are mostly women undergo free refresher courses. They are taught financial literacy as well as methods of teaching that discipline.
Much attention is paid to the quality of information in mass media.
Anna Zelentsova mentioned that sometimes we could come across incorrect financial advice in magazines. In this regard, there were special seminars for journalists where experts shared useful information about budget planning and solving different money matters. Some mass media were inspired by such seminars and held their own thematic educational events.
“Thanks to programmes realised within the framework of the project, people learn to manage not only their finance but also their lives. They begin to feel themselves more comfortable and understand that their future is in their hands because they know how to protect themselves financially”, explains Anna Zelentsova.
“In 2017, the Government accepted the National Strategy for Enhancing People’s Financial Literacy. It means that our project will become bigger. We are planning to attract all regions of Russia to its realisation”, concluded the supervisor of the project.
Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Yan Zarubin