‘The Money Issue’ is a common feature of most, if not all publications. The cover, usually adorned with a currency symbol or the color green; the inside, mostly about how to spend and invest. But money is a lot more than just that – particularly in today’s world where there is perilously little in most hands and a great deal in a few. The common assumption is that the poor are poor because they don’t work hard enough, and the super-rich are what they are because they are ‘self-made’. But look beyond and the story is a lot different. Not only is a large chunk of India’s population struggling to survive below the poverty line, there is also a huge gender gap that makes it even worse for half the population.
Today, our country faces political, social and economic turmoil. GDP growth that is actually still in the negative in the aftermath of the pandemic is being portrayed as an increase, and the media is silent over this number-fudging. Financial literacy, thus, is the need of the hour. We need to be able to understand not just what’s in our wallets and banks (or the lack thereof), but also what the government is spending on, and what it isn’t. Is education, safety of women, healthcare and other people-oriented services high on the radar? Or are people’s needs going unmet and systematically silenced?
We have tried to bring out the complex, multi-faceted relationship of finance & money in this issue – what women think about the economy, how they contribute to it, and an ethical, inclusive and community oriented approach to how women, their families and their contributions to the economy can be envisioned rather than only being seen in the narrow vision of wealth-creation or in sheer numbers. It is not merely the question of making one’s way up the ladder but ensuring that the path upwards is done in the right spirit and in keeping with moral principles.
Some other interesting areas that have been touched upon includes the politics of food, and the grave issues affecting young children in the form of sexual abuse. We hope that this issue will be of relevance at a time when many women are finding innovative and creative ways to express their talent and aspirations, while becoming contributing members of society.