Financial Independence of Women
Women's increased rates of educational attainment and workforce participation, as well as their increased financial knowledge and involvement in personal finances, have increased women's rates of financial independence, especially in industrialized countries. Many women, however, still face a number of gender inequities that hinder financial independence. Segregated labor markets and a shrinking but still present gender pay gap lower women's incomes, savings, and retirement investments, and have cumulative effects on their lifestyle. In developing countries, microfinance, cooperatives, and other financial programs have dramatically improved women's economic and entrepreneurial knowledge and opportunities, aiding both family and community development. Women's financial knowledge is crucial as most women become solely responsible for their personal finances at some point in their lives.