In the past years, the number of women entrepreneurs have grown faster than their male counterparts. In fact, for every male entrepreneur, two women are also starting their own business empire.
This is proof that on an international scale, women are starting to step up as they realise that they no longer have to depend on men for their needs.
Let us get one thing straight. We are not questioning the ability of men to take care of the needs of women. We are well aware that they can and they should. After all, that is the role as the providers in the family – just like women will always be the nurturers.
However, these two roles are no longer separate and exclusive to either gender. The lines between what men or women can do are already blurred. What one gender can do, you can also be sure that the other can also accomplish. Sometimes, they can even do it better.
This is the main reason why you should stop thinking that it is the responsibility of men to take care of women. In the same way, women should stop thinking that they are only meant to thrive inside their household.
We have found four main reasons why women in Singapore should stop depending on men:
Because they don’t have to
The first reason is because they do not have to. There is a rising number of Singapore women in the local workforce. In fact, 76% of women between the ages 25 to 54 years are working. This is considered to be the highest rate in all of Asia.
Women should have their own income, savings, and investments because economically, it is the productive thing to do. Even if they are married, they should maintain their ability to pay for their own needs. They should be able to stay financially independent from men.
The high cost of living in Singapore maybe another reason drove them to it. Both men and women in the household will be better off having a dual-income household. They can afford a higher standard of living. Of course, with more women working, that is an indication that they can financially provide for their needs. That means they do not have to depend on men to finance their needs.
Because the economy needs them
Apart from the high cost of living, women are pursuing work outside of their homes because the economy needs them. You do not have to feel like you need to take orders from men. You can step up because you have the qualities that will help make the local economy thrive and flourish.
The fact is, there is a higher demand for labour in Singapore. Having a diverse workforce can fuel innovation and creativity. After all, different perspectives produce multiple ideas. For instance, there are certain products in the market that only women can think of producing. They have a different perspective of what a household needs comparing to men. This is why the presence of both men and women in the workforce is very important.
Because they have to be prepared and protected
Another important reason to stop depending on men is because they need the financial security and protection. Unfortunately, not all marriages will last. Women should be able to stand on their own two feet if they are suddenly faced with divorce. Or, if their husband suddenly passes, they can afford to take care of their own needs. In 2015, the Ministry of Social and Family Development called for a study that will help them understand the needs of divorced and widowed seniors. Apparently, seniors who are widowed or divorced are the biggest concern of social workers. These are the people who do not have immediate family members to care for them and pay for their needs.
This is proof that women are usually financially incapacitated once their husbands are out of the picture. This can be easily avoided if women will only stop depending on men. It will also give their emergency fund a boost. The whole family can withstand financial difficulties because the household income comes from more than one source. That gives their financial security a boost.
Because society is changing
Finally, you do not have to depend on men because society, as a whole, is already changing. It is not just the women who are changing. Even men recognise the need to show their nurturing abilities at home. Kids turn out to be well-rounded adults when they have a hands-on father. This is why more men are making an effort to show their softer side to their children. This allows the mothers to have time to pursue a career outside of their homes. The role of a nurturer is no longer exclusive. In the same way, the role of a provider is not exclusive either. According to a study done by Pew Research Center, more women have a higher monthly income compared to their husbands.
The changing relationship between Singapore women and men
Of course, this does not mean women no longer need men. In order for society to grow, men and women should continue to strengthen their relationship and connection with each other. Gender equality is not about being completely independent or separate from men. It is mostly about fighting for our rightful place in society.
We are not meant to be subordinate to men. We are meant to be beside them. Women are expected to take an active part in the decision-making process. While the men will continue to be the head of the family, women are given a louder voice because our opinion matters. We have proven that we are relevant in society – not just in raising the children or taking care of the needs of the family. Women are needed by the local economy. We no longer have to stay on the sidelines, cheering the men on. We can take part in whatever they are doing to improve the local economy.
All it really takes is three simple steps:
Step 1: Find a career
We are all good at something. There are jobs in the economy that women excel in. You have to find the specific job opportunities that your skillset can be useful. In 2017, studies reveal the specific skills that will be in demand in the job market in Singapore. It is expected that talent managers with strong analytical skills will be in demand. Other qualities that will be useful in the workplace includes strategic thinking and hands-on support. A strong digital experience is also in demand today.
Step 2: Let yourself grow
When you find a career, do not stop there. Make sure you will be an asset to the company. Invest both time and money to grow your skills. As you do that, you will increase your personal value. That will allow you to demand more compensation.
Step 3: Save and invest
As your income increases, the first thing that you have to work on is to increase your savings and investment. Put aside money for your rainy day fund. Once you have that, you can start investing. Choose among stocks, bonds, equities, and other accounts that can help you meet your investing goals. Do not just rely on savings. It is usually not enough to make you secure.
That is what the women in Singapore are expected to do as they stop depending on men. Women are no longer the responsibility of men. On the contrary, women are expected to be just as responsible for the family, economy, and society as the men. We are partners – men and women. That was always how it should have been.
Article first published on TheNewSavvy
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