By Mathew Godswill
IT has been established that in today’s world, women need to have a source of income if the family will live above the line of poverty. And many reasons have been adduced for why women also need to aspire to financial independence by having a source of income.
Why should a woman work, even when the husband can adequately provide all her needs? The simple answer to this is unforeseen circumstances. It is a fact that women spend fewer years in the workforce as a result of their primary and cultural role as home managers.
This difference in work hours means women have less opportunity to save money to contribute to retirement plans, savings and investments or generally plan for a comfortable future.
Another fact that comes up is that women seem to live longer than men. One of the reasons adduced for this by psychologists is that men involve themselves more in activities that carry high risks than their women counterparts. So, for women that depend on spouses for survival, when the inevitable happens unexpectedly, there is a crisis because they become helpless and can’t even take care of basic needs. Usually in situations like this, the children suffer a lot and may even lose their lives.
Furthermore, in today’s world, marriages, according to researchers, have 50 per cent chance of survival. And one fastest issue that can change a woman’s financial situation is divorce. Due to the fact that most divorces end on a bitter note and the men in a bid to punish the woman withdraw all forms of aid, especially financial assistance, affected women have no choice than to switch roles and learn how to manage the finances of the family. A woman that has no source of income will find this switch difficult and sometimes, it is fatal.
A woman that has a source of income when unexpected situations come up usually finds it less difficult to adapt and reassess the situation to make necessary adjustments in the face of new realities confronting her.
Today, a source of income is no longer a choice for women but a mandatory requirement. Gone are the days when women depended on others for survival because those that you want to depend on now have personal struggles and are barely surviving. Consequently, adding other people’s burden is not appealing. A woman without a source of income is vulnerable to poverty, injustice and various forms of violation.
The era when it is fashionable not to have a source of income is past. Women who earn money have better chances of putting their children on the right pedestal and have family lives with little conflict arising from finances as money issues have been identified as a major cause of marital problems.
It is normal that family expenses increase as children grow older and engage in diverse pursuits that add to spending, and if there is no income from the woman to augment the family income and cushion the extra expenses, the household may end up with dire financial constraints. And since no one enjoys poverty, women should start changing the dependency trait.
There are women who cringe at the lack of economic independence and hold the belief that asking their husband for money for every need is disgraceful. They are seen as extremists but in reality, with the economic situation today, they are on the right tracks, and for women that still live in denial that they do not need to contribute to their household finances, it is time to wake up from their slumber and thoughts of delusions that only wives of poorer men work.
As we advocate that women get a source of employment, we should however ask that more should be done to make it easy for women in the workforce.
That a woman should work is now an issue of economic necessity and not a fight to reduce the power of men.