With roots tracing back to the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day acts as a day of homage to women across the globe, celebrating their achievements and successes whilst pushing for gender equality. To this day, the event remains unattached to any one organisation, instead uniting governments, charities and businesses alike. After all, from celebrated female scientists and politicians to mums, grannies and friends, each one of us has an inspirational woman to look up to.
Some of the great female names in history to have inspired future generations include Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie and Coco Chanel. In more modern times we have women such as Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Malala Yousafzai to thank for their achievements. Together these female figures, both past and present, are continuing to pave the way for female equality through their lasting legacies.
This year’s IWD has an extra special significance thanks to the work of Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragette movement. It marks 100 years since British women were finally granted the right to vote– establishing women’s right to vote was a significant aspect of the original International Women’s Day foundation. Arguably one of the biggest triumphs of gender inequality in history, women fought so hard to earn the right to suffrage that some of them, including Emmeline Pankhurst, were imprisoned for their actions. Others such as Emily Davidson died making a stand. Thanks to the efforts of the Suffragettes, women attained the vote in 1918, an act that changed society forever.
Ensuring that each adult female now has the right to vote has impacted on life beyond the ballot box. Since then, the decision-making power of females has only continued to grow, and at a household level that includes family finance. According to Personal Finance Expert Farnoosh Torabi, within households where the woman is the main breadwinner, she is twice as likely as her husband to make all of the financial decisions.
Online discount brokerage service, Merrill Edge, recently published that globally, women control 64% of household spending. This shows that while not all women need to change the world through scientific research or running for president – with the right savings and investments strategy, they can have a significant impact on improving the financial outlook for their families.
As a long established financial mutual, we understand the value of a woman’s input when it comes to savings goals for future generations. We truly believe in the power of each woman to take control and build positive financial futures not just on International Women’s Day, but on any other.