Over the course of life, one adopts many notions and generalized judgments through which they live their lives and further cause a ripple effect by engraving the same thoughts in the minds of others, consequently, giving birth to stereotypes and myths. One such deep-seated myth is the idea that women can’t handle money well, resulting, in a poor representation of women in the financial space.

There are various misconceptions regarding this belief, a few of which are challenged below:

Women are emotional decision-makers:

Many argue that women tend to be emotional and hence are unable to make significant financial decisions. However, In an article from Forbes.com, Mara Mather, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Southern California, and Ruud van den Bos, a neurobiologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, independently found that, in a stressful situation most men tend to take higher risks and end up gambling for larger rewards which they normally wouldn’t choose. On the other hand most women, rather than falling apart, bring unique strengths to decision-making. They become interested in smaller rewards and weigh their risks and go for options that give guaranteed outcomes. Men and women exhibit different ways of decision making which make both equally viable, if not better.

Women can’t make good financial decisions.

Many households in India would see their male family members making major financial decisions for the family, one reason for this could be that men usually are the earning members of the family. However, women are the ones who deal with all the micro financial decisions of the house like clearing all the payments, buying home essentials etc. Women of the house essentially are the ones who keep the house running with the money that they get. In order to do so decision making skills of women comes to play.

Another example can be sited from the story of Café Coffee Day aka CCD. Which is an, Indian multinational chain of coffeehouses headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The founder of this very successful chain, V G Siddhartha, committed suicide in 2019. He was suspected to do so because of the rising debt and increasing loss in the business. With no successor the future of CCD looked Brim. Enter Siddhartha’s wife Malavika Hegde, who took over as the CEO of Café Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd. And flipped the condition of the debt stricken business and recovered the company's state. She took significant decisions like shutting off the poor performing cafes, selling of assets etc to pay the debt and as a result of Malavika’s initiative, Coffee Day’s debt burden was reduced to Rs 1,731 crore in 2021 from Rs 7,000 crore debt in 2019. The café performed exceptionally well even during the Covid pandemic under her leadership.

Therefore, making good financial decisions really doesn’t have a significant relation to that of gender, let alone women.

Women don’t understand financial matters

So often one would assert that women can’t comprehend financial matters, Making this domain unsuitable for them. To counter this there are many examples of women who have excelled in this field, Nirmala Sitharaman, Naina Lal Kidwai, Shyamala Gopinath, Kalpana Morparia etc. Whose success and exemplary work is a testimonial to all such incorrect notions.


While it is clear that financial knowledge is achievable for women, one thing that stands as a blunt fact is that 34.55% of women in India, (according to census 2021) are financially illiterate. Major causes are :

  • Lack of education
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Cultural and social reasons
  • And most importantly, lack of confidence,

Women’s lack of confidence affects their capability to achieve their financial potential. In addition to this there is a fear among them that the process is so complex that they will not understand well or not be able to access the right information related to financial matters hence, they are reluctant to pursue this skill.

Systematically dealing with the above mentioned obstacles through governmental, community and personal initiatives shall usher growth of financial literacy of women and consequently bring improvement in their lifestyle and development of the country. 

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