Why Financial Independence is Important for women?
“I want to have control over my life, I want to be able to make decisions, and live life on my own terms, and my being financially independent helps me be with that” – Kalki Koechlin.
Financial independence can definitely mean different things to different women, but one of the primary reasons, why women feel hostage to men is because they are financially dependent on the men around them. Financial autonomy can be the first and foremost step to identify self-identity, freedom, and liberty in one’s own life. It can help provide confidence in oneself and encourage authority and control one’s own life.
While there are several real-life examples that prove so, there is a certain cinema that emphasizes how financially independent women can lead for themselves. Here are a few films that represent so.
The recent Netflix release, Sir, directed by Rohena Gera is one fine example of how financial independence can help women live their life in the way they want. In Sir, Ratna is a widow, working as a house servant in a modern house in Mumbai. At one instance, she says, “Shaadi k chaar mahine baad mere pati guzer gye the….meri shaadi k waqt ladke wale dahej k bina mujhse shaadi krne ko tyaar ho gye the toh papa ne kch pucha nhi, shaadi kr di aur mai 19 saal ki umar mai vidhwa ho gyi. Mere gaaon mai iska matlab hota hai zindagi khatam hona, par aaj mai khud apne paise kama rhi hu, servant hu, pr chhoti ko bhi padha rhi hu” and she even started learning tailoring which eventually was possible because she was earning. Otherwise, like any other widow in her village, she would have had to face the consequences of having no financial support at all.
In Secret Superstar, directed by Advait Chandan, Nazma, who is Insia’s mother, is a victim of the oppression and domestic violence of her husband. Her Daughter, Insia is a spellbinding singer, but because of the conservative family, couldn’t explore much of her talent initially. She repetitively wants and urges her mother to the house, with her and her younger brother. But the mother always denies her concerns where how will she take care of the children. Later, with Insia happening to manage to momentarily support the finance, and give courage to Nazma, Nazma did choose to leave her toxic husband. The film and its representation show how financial dependency is the primary factor for which they are subjected to be dependent on a toxic spouse.
To cite an unpopular example, Mandi, directed by Shyam Benegal is about the lives of Sex Workers, who come from different walks of life, some are widows, some disowned by families, and some coming from other traumatic experiences. Keeping the societal stigmas aside, women in Mandi are representative of financial autonomy.
Another example can be Amazon Prime’s series, ‘Four More Shots Please’. In this series, three out of the four friends are financially independent for themselves while Siddhi is not. Not that Siddhi is unhappy or has a traumatic life, perhaps because she belongs to a rich family, but in the second season of the series, she finds herself in a place where she questions her identity. And later on, when she started doing comedy gigs, she could find a sense of identity for herself.
So, here is what financial independence can do to women. It could give them control over their lives, provide them with a self-identity, fulfil one’s own desires, autonomy, stability, and confidence to walk off of a relationship/ atmosphere that is toxic for them. So, women, LEARN AND EARN. There is nothing bad in it.
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