12 Jul 2017
Koh Miyaoi, Gender Advisor, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub
“Because I get money that I can decide how to spend.”
A young school teacher in Chitwan District in Nepal was chatting to me about some of the reasons she’s participating in UNDP-supported trainings for micro-entrepreneurs.
She said she was making a profit, but she didn’t have anything particular in mind to buy with that money. She’d invest her profits in expanding her business, she said. For her, the fact that she didn’t have to consult anyone how to spend the money she earned was a good enough reason to continue this initiative.
Work isn’t just about earning money. Work is about gaining self-confidence, gaining respect and recognition, and having a role in public life.
That sense of empowerment a woman can experience from having her ‘own money’ resonated with me. I’ve heard it from so many women, including my own mother.
My mother started working again after she gave birth to two children, because she wanted to be able to make and act on her own choices. She did not see why she should have to consult her husband every time she needed money.
Regardless of how a family handles its finances, in the modern world, not having one’s own income makes …