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Best Investment Options in India Women Must Avail 

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Financial Inclusion’s Role in Gender Equality

Once upon a time, the conversations amongst Indian women were limited to food, clothes, beauty, home, etc., but today, Indian women are all set to breaking stereotypes. As she takes care of the family, she is also taking care of her financial security. Be it becoming an entrepreneur from the four walls of the house or exploring for the best investment options in India, women are finally awakening to the euphoria of financial independence. 

Gone are the days when investing in assets or the share market was just a man’s game. Today women across the globe have dived into the world of investing and are making quite a roar. From young girls to homemakers, the conversation is circling more and more women around it. According to a report, a substantial 60% of women globally are delving into stock investments, while an impressive 68% are diligently saving for retirement, illustrating a strong commitment to securing their financial future.

However, despite such increased numbers of women investing in India, the reality is that out of the top 10 investors in India, only 1 of them is a woman. Shocking right? 

Women’s Empowerment comes with Financial Empowerment 

Indian women have carved out a distinguished presence across various domains, spanning education, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and politics. However, the area of financial autonomy remains elusive for a considerable segment. Recent survey data reveals that a substantial 59% of working women continue to rely on consulting their partners for financial planning. 

This statistic underscores the persistent gap in knowledge or accessibility concerning financial decision-making among Indian women, despite their notable qualifications and achievements. Addressing this disparity is important for fostering greater empowerment and equality in financial matters.

Some of the most common financial challenges, women face in India are-

  1. Educated but Unemployed 

There is no doubt that India has seen a rise in literacy amongst women, but on the other hand, female labour force participation has declined to 19% in 2021. Economists believe that due to the economic increase within Indian families, many women do not have to work to support families. Furthermore, there is also a perception amongst the affluent Indians, that when women go out to work, they bring down the family’s social status. 

  1.  Less pay for women 

According to the International Labour Organization, unequal pay is one of the major reasons for the growing disparity between men and women. It has been observed that women earn just 21% of a man’s income, for the same position and same job roles.

  1.  High-paying jobs are still a men’s club

Despite their exceptional qualifications and talents, women continue to face barriers to entry into C-suite positions. Concerns about personal choices like marriage and childbirth often hinder their advancement. In India, a mere 15% of C-suite leaders are female, starkly lower than the global average of 25%. 

So to address these challenges and promote women’s financial empowerment, it is imperative to offer them accessible and reliable financial guidance and platforms. Currently, to foster gender equality and harness diverse leadership perspectives in society, the Indian government has introduced several investment schemes for women that provide them with avenues to build wealth and secure their financial future.

5 Investment Options for Women in India 

  1. Public Provident Fund or PPF

This government-launched investment scheme is also considered as one of the most reliable saving schemes for women. A long-term investing scheme that pays 7.1 % interest per annum and is risk-free. It helps in saving taxes, as the investment, interest and maturity amount are exempted from taxation. 

2. National Pension Scheme System 

Women who are seeking long-term growth and stability should opt for the National Pension System. Offering two account types- Tier-I and Tier-II- II, the NPS is a market-linked savings scheme designed to facilitate retirement fund accumulation. With NPS, one can create a diversified portfolio including Equity, Government Bonds, Liquid Funds, Corporate Bonds and Fixed Income Instruments. The NPS is considered one of the best investment options for women as it comes with a regulated framework through which women can yield optimal returns. 

3. Mahila Samman Savings Certificate 

Introduced in the budget 2023, the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate is considered one of the most promising investment schemes for women. A small savings scheme introduced for female investors, that can be used for investments and an annual interest rate of 7.5% per annum can be availed quarterly. However, this scheme is not exempted from tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961. 

4. Fixed Deposit (FDs)

One of the most secured investments to date, FDs are offered by several banks and financial institutions. Reliability, Low risks and high interest rates are guaranteed with it, thereby making this scheme too as one of the best investment options for women in India. 

5. Post Office Time Deposit Scheme

Another prominent investment scheme for women is the Post Office Time Deposit Scheme. It offers flexibility in deposit tenures and competitive interest rates. With the assurance of safety, this scheme is considered to be one of the best investment plans for a housewife who is looking to achieve short to medium-term financial goals.

The Next Step?

Through our Swabhiman initiative, financial literacy and small funding initiatives are paving the way for transformative investments in the lives of women. By equipping them with essential financial knowledge and providing access to small funds, the project empowers women to become small-scale entrepreneurs, particularly in endeavors like tailoring, food stall businesses.

These investments not only foster economic independence but also create positively affects within communities, leading to increased household incomes, improved living standards, and enhanced access to education and healthcare.

As women continue to play an increasingly significant role in Indian economy, it is essential to provide them with the necessary support and resources that shall help them to thrive in the true spirit of financial inclusion. Education, mentorship programs, and policies promoting gender equality in the workplace are crucial steps toward empowering women.

In conclusion, by offering women access to diverse investment options, we can pave the way for their financial empowerment and contribute to a more equitable society. It is our collective responsibility as a society to champion gender equality and create an environment where every woman has the opportunity to secure her future.

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