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Financial Responsibility: What It Means To The Average Woman In Nigeria

Financial responsibility, especially with the current fluctuating state of the world’s economies is one thing many people wish they had learned in school.
According to readyratios.com, “Financial responsibility refers to the process of managing money and other similar assets in a way that is considered productive.” Financial responsibility is always in the best interest of the individual.

For women in Nigeria, we have come a long way from the times when women were not expected to be financially independent or self-sufficient. Female children were, once upon a time not allowed to contribute opinions when serious family issues were being discussed because the only time they contributed financially (In some cultures) to said family, was when they were given out in marriage.

“This affected how my mother was treated by her in-laws,” my 86 year old grandmother recounted, “because, by the time she was 15 years in marriage, things were not as smooth as they had been before. She was now expected to contribute to the family without any source of income or financial intelligence.” All my great grandmother had, were homemaking skills, the one they told her would make her a good wife.
Discussing money with my grandmother, I asked how that affected how she controlled her finances. She said she went to school to be a teacher.

Secret Stashes.
For women today, being in my great grandmother’s shoes is not an option. Many women have jobs that are just as important as anybodys. It is also not uncommon to see women who earn just as much or even more than their spouses. But earning capacity is not the same as financial responsibility for the women that took to social media to comment on the idea of secret stashes.
The idea that women, earning or not, find ways to hide money and properties from their spouses and loved ones took the men who saw the post and read the comments by extreme surprise. The ones who were not surprised expressed discontent on the basis that it was dishonest.

But is the aim of secret stashes really to be dishonest?
In 2020, most women do not agree with being completely dependent on another adult or not being able to provide support in their homes. In a relationship where both parties know everything there is to know about each other, most people feel powerful when they have little things to themselves, including money. Many times these secret stashes have saved families and come in handy in times of dire need.

Unfortunately, there will always be the need for women to have money they can depend on as many victims of Gender-Based Violence stayed in abusive situations because they could not care for themselves outside those relationships. Many parents are teaching their children multiple streams of income and advising daughters to buy up properties with their monies and hide them if their husbands do not permit.
The list of realities that confront the average Nigerian woman includes an extravagant husband who is profligate and has no savings. He is also well aware of what his wife earns and as the husband, is “entitled” to it, under the guise of providing for the family. In this case, the stash is more of a security blanket than a mere desire to be deceitful.

Depending on your spouse or your situation, a stash may not be secret, just as it may also not be a wad of physical cash. A secret stash could be property or investment, anything that can serve as a security blanket or “vex money.” Having this, for the most part, is being financially responsible to the Nigerian woman.

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