THE best way to curb financial abuse is to educate children about financial empowerment and autonomy from as early as possible.
“It is essential that children understand that it is important for them to have economic power especially in a family, and hopefully when they grow up to become adults, apply the same value in their relationships and households, ” says Izza Izelan, executive director of gender and youth empowerment NGO WOMEN:girls.
Izza explains that education can begin from home, where parents can teach their children about the value of things and how money works in order to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head.
“Schools should also create an environment that encourages discussions on money and the relationships that are tied to it, especially if the home environment is one that is not open to discussions around finances. We need to assist children to understand that financial abuse can cause vulnerability and affect their livelihood and access to basic needs, ” says Izza.
However, it is still not too late for anyone at any age, particularly young adults and adolescents today, to learn the importance of economic independence.
A lot of the financial education currently focuses on literacy and creating wealth, however there is still a lack of education on one’s financial rights, says Izza.
“Along with educating adolescents and young adults other forms of autonomy (such as bodily autonomy to curb sexual harassment), financial autonomy should be educated together with the same importance and urgency.”