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Women and Money: An investigation into gender disparity in financial literacy


Nikita Jaiswal and Tanishka Kachru

Financial literacy refers to the necessary knowledge of various aspects of finance to empower an individual’s decision-making skills related to personal financial goals and objectives. And this knowledge is missing in the large group of young demographic in India. Financial literacy is already low, and if we look into it from a gender point of view, the percentage bar goes further down for women. The gender-based financial divide is one of the significant disparities prevailing in society.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 (GGGR’21) by the World Economic Forum reflects on the world’s performance towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 5- Gender Equality states that another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity. As per the report, India is one of the worst performers in the gender gap report, with a ranking of 140 among 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index, which is a steep downfall of 28 spots (compared to the ranking in 2020).

Financial behaviour is the management of personal finances, including savings and investments, expenditures, budget, etc., that requires informed decision-making skills. UNICEF outlines the 16 basic life skills for youth, and decision-making is one of them. With time, there has been a paradigm shift in gender roles concerning different professions and sectors, with women taking the lead in various professional fields. However, money management and financial independence are not vested in women’s hands in many cases. There is a need to identify financial behaviour as one of the essential basic life skills.

Financial literacy is impacted deeply by the significant gender-based disparities in Indian society. The findings highlight a considerable scope of intervention toward improving Financial Literacy that has a great potential to shape financial behaviour and make a significant move toward diluting the difference between finance and gender.

This project aims to instigate a conversation about this form of gender disparity by studying, understanding, and analyzing the plausible factors, existing or upcoming, at a system level. Adopting a reflective-gamified design to develop a tool for self-reflection that can impact the financial behaviour of young urban women is one of the propositions of this project that has been detailed for testing among a focus group.

Keywords: financial literacy, financial behaviour, basic life skills, personal finance management, women and money, gender disparity, sustainable development goals, system thinking, reflective-gamified design, self-reflecting tool, financial inclusion

Pre-proceedings drafts are available for RSD11 participants to review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title. The papers have been peer-reviewed, and the authors have made revisions. Following RSD11, authors will have a final period to revise their work from the feedback received at RSD before the proceedings are formally published.

Posted September 2022 content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium.