Week Two: Financial Empowerment

Generations of women were denied control over their financial lives, and it wasn’t until 1974 that women were allowed to have credit cards in their own name. Today, more women are taking control of their finances and making important decisions about budgeting, saving, and investing. Despite this progress, inequities persist that hold women back from reaching their full economic potential. We’ll explore some of those inequities during Week 2 of the Racial Justice Challenge.

Week Two Themes

  • History – Across time and cultures, women have had vastly different degrees of economic freedom. Resources on this topic will walk you through the history of women in the workplace, women’s financial independence, and how many of the advancements made in society were at the expense of low-income women and women of color.
  • Pay Gap and Unpaid Labor – Too often, women’s labor is undervalued both in the workplace and at home. We will learn that gender pay gaps have stayed largely unchanged and remain larger for women of color and mothers.
  • Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurship comes with many benefits, which has encouraged women to start their own businesses. Even still, women-owned businesses face significant barriers to success, particularly accessing the critical funds needed to scale up.
  • Financial Abuse – TRIGGER WARNING: INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | Financial Abuse involves restricting access to resources, controlling finances, and exploiting economic dependence so that one partner can maintain power and control over another. Without access to funds, survivors are often left with no choice but to stay with their abuser. We will learn about the true impact of financial abuse. If you are experiencing domestic/intimate partner violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or text START to 88788.
  • Financial Literacy – For generations, women have been taught and pressured to leave large monetary decisions to the men in their lives. This has led to women unprepared to care for their own financial health, particularly in the event of divorce or the death of their spouse. Selected articles on this topic get candid about the barriers women face to financial empowerment and recommendations for removing those barriers.