March 8th, 2021 is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is #choosetochallenge. All over the world, various activities and events will be held to mark the day and push further conversations, policies and actions geared towards ensuring gender equality at all levels.
As a forerunner in the fight to ensure that the underserved in the society, particularly, women have the means and the ability to save towards their retirement, we are dedicating the whole month of March to embark on various initiatives and activities that will bring more attention and focus to women’s income security in old age.
We agree totally with IWD that “a challenged world is an alert world and that from challenge comes change.” As a company, its our conviction that everyone, no matter who they are or where they are, are deserving of “a better tomorrow”, therefore, we #choosetochallenge every woman to aspire to #abettertomorrow.
This call is not only timely but critical for a myriad of reasons. According to a 2018 World Economic Forum report on “The Scary facts behind the Gender Pension Gap”, women need more money in retirement because they have longer retirements, will spend more time living alone in retirement and their retirement needs are more expensive than their male counterparts. But the sad reality is that women are not saving as much, as they save for shorter periods and save smaller amounts and take fewer risks with their investments.
Conscious efforts must therefore be taken to remedy this situation and our work in the pensions space makes us optimistic that this can be done. The trends and analysis show that our women members in the informal space are better savers and tend to be more active although they are in the minority, making up 40% of our total member base.
This is encouraging, but then it brings into sharp focus the fact that a greater percentage of women out there are not currently covered by incumbent pension funds, therefore, making it more imperative to increase awareness creation activities and accessibility for them.
Together with our regulator, the National Pensions Regulatory Authority-NPRA, we intend to kickstart conversations and create more awareness about the issue by collaborating with local media, groups, institutions, and individuals in the month to ensure that a lot more women are made aware of the need to adequately prepare for a better tomorrow. Because in the end, women do not only live longer than men but are more likely to have less income and less economic independence in old age.
Stay with us on our social media platforms for all the information on the various activities that we will be embarking on.