Increasing women’s financial literacy key to ending economic abuse
The Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment (CCFWE) and FinPowered teamed up to provide free financial education to women across Canada and create awareness about financial abuse and other forms of economic injustice in abusive relationships.
According to CCFWE, economic abuse involves a perpetrator withholding money needed for food, clothes, or other necessities. It can also include taking your money, controlling your access to financial information, not including you in family financial decisions, demanding an account of everything you buy, or forcing you to put your name on accounts and then destroying your credit.
A national survey conducted by Statistics Canada has shown that only 1 in 3 women say they have the financial knowledge and skills to manage their money to ensure they are financially secure. Svetlana Mamaeva, Miss World Canada 2020 and Schulich School of Business alumna, launched FinPowered with the goal of providing free financial literacy program to help women become more financially independent.
FinPowered has provided 85 free financial education workshops, reaching over 800 women, and will be showcased at the 2021 Miss World competition this December. The global platform, with more than one billion viewers, will shed light on economic abuse and create a stronger awareness internationally around the importance of educating women financially.
“Increasing financial literacy among women and curbing the devastating effects of economic abuse on victims is a challenge, yes, but it is a battle that can be won,” said Mamaeva.
“Women from marginalized groups are at a higher risk of economic abuse due to systemic factors. Culturally appropriate awareness and education on economic abuse is very essential to protect women,” said Meseret Haileyesus, CEO of the Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment.
What is Economic Abuse?
Economic abuse occurs when a domestic partner interferes with employment, controls access to finances, refuses to contribute to costs or generates financial costs without consent. Women from marginalized groups, including newcomers, refugees, racialized and Indigenous women, are at a higher risk of economic abuse due to other systemic factors.
Economic abuse can have a profoundly devastating effect on women: it impacts mental health and impedes a woman’s ability to leave an abuser, subsequently prolonging the amount of time she is vulnerable to harm. Those who experience economic abuse are five times more likely to experience physical abuse and other forms of gender-based violence including sexual and psychological abuse. Moreover, when women experience economic abuse in the context of coercive control, they are at increased risk of homicide (Surviving Economic Abuse 2019).
About Pageant Group Canada
Pageant Group Canada has been Canada’s top pageant producer since 2013. They are the official national representatives and advocates of the Beauty with a Purpose social initiative of the Miss World Organization, who has been empowering women from across the world into making a social difference in their community for 70 years.
About Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment (CCFWE)
CCFWE is the only Canadian not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending economic abuse through education, policy change, mentorship and economic empowerment. Based in Ottawa, CCFWE’s goal is to create national awareness about the impact of economic abuse by empowering survivors to improve their financial knowledge and educating policy-makers and financial institutions about how they can help. For more information visit ccfwe.org and follow @CCFWE on social media.
For more information:
Arturo G Gallo
Pageant Group Canada
The Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment (CCFWE)