Dear Reader,

It was a warm summer morning a few months ago, when we got wind of a project close to our hearts. The  project title read, “Promotion of Financial Literacy for Women in India”, and it was going to be government-funded. The Republic of Lithuania, a developed country in the Baltic region of Europe, was looking for partners who could implement this project. The thought of being able to help women across our country understand their finances better gave us an adrenaline rush. Starry-eyed and full of hope, we just knew we had to apply.

Endless discussions ensued. We planned and planned and planned some more. Being entrusted to implement a project of such significance meant a lot. And doing it in the most effective way possible was the focus of our attention. After a little over a month of this, we finally submitted our application. Then came the wait.

Shifting focus, our lives went back to what they were before we knew about this project. While it was at the back of our minds, we knew there would be other applicants as well. We didn’t want to count our chickens before they hatched.

And so, we waited.

Since we’re waiting…

As we wait, we would like to fill you in on some dismal, but pertinent statistics that we came across in our research.

There is a material gap between men and women in almost every country. Worldwide, there is a five-point gender gap, with 65% of men not being financially literate compared with 70% of women. In India, the gap is wider with 73% of men and 80% of women not being financially literate.

It’s not surprising then that we often see the women around us relying on the men in their lives to manage their finances. Last year, on Women’s Day, we talked about how not to let gender get in the way of our finances. This year, again on Women’s Day, we watched Paytm present a social experiment on the gender gap in financial independence and literacy, “The Divide”. But why only on Women’s Day? We must be bridging this gap every single day. And it takes not only women, but also men. It takes not only our country, but the whole world to help advance this cause.

Which brings us back to the kind people of Lithuania. Our wait ended early last month. We were informed that Rupiko had been selected from amongst a number of other applicants to implement the project, “Promotion of Financial Literacy of Women in India”. We were over the moon! And we could not wait to share this milestone with you.

So today, on this pleasant monsoon evening, we urge you to take a moment to talk about personal finance with your loved ones, regardless of gender. Share your hopes and fears and discuss the role that money plays in your lives. And keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming workshops for women. They are going to be power-packed and full of actionable insights.

The journey has only just begun, and we will continue to share stories as we go along.

Until next time, happy finances!

With love,
Team Rupiko

PS: In keeping with the theme of today’s letter, this week’s book recommendation is The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates.

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