Shekel money bills.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli women must learn to manage their bank accounts to secure fiscal independence and prevent financial abuse, according to Supervisor of Banks Hedva Ber.
“Even though women have broken through the glass ceiling in the worlds of banking and finance in recent years, many women are still not financially independent,” she said at a Jerusalem conference on Tuesday.
Despite the increasingly convenient digital means of account management available today, women often fail to take personal responsibility for the improvement of their own financial state or that of their family, Ber said. In more extreme cases, women can even become involuntarily financially dependent, experiencing financial abuse as a result of a man’s control over her money, she said.
“I call on all those who are not managing their bank account independently to stop being afraid and to start managing,” Ber said. “Managing a bank account is easier than ever before thanks to digital means: the banking application, the Internet and automatic machines that make it possible to carry out all basic transactions on your own.”
Ber was speaking at a conference titled “Women’s Financial Independence and Empowerment,” hosted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Tuesday morning in honor of International Women’s Day.
Thanks to mobile banking applications, every person’s cellphone can become “a small bank branch that enables everyone to exert day-to-day control over their financial state,” Ber said.
Nonetheless, some women are still hesitant to embrace such functions, in comparison to men. To illustrate this point, Ber said only 36% of those who contacted the Banking Supervision Department’s Public Inquiries Unit between 2014 and 2016 were women – indicating that in many households, males are still in charge of banking.
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A lack of financial independence – and in some cases involuntary dependence – can potentially result in financial abuse, Ber warned. In extreme situations, a man may control a woman by granting her limited cash allowances, creating a constant threatening atmosphere of “financial crisis,” transferring joint funds without her knowledge or preventing her from going to work, she said.
Ber called upon all Israeli women to acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to fiscal issues and encouraged them to aim high and achieve financial independence.
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