Call to empower women on capital markets literacy

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Call to empower women on capital markets literacy

Enacy Mapakame

INVESTMENT and capital market experts have called for enhanced orientation of women and girls in the financial disciplines to boost their awareness as part of the broader vision of improving capital markets literacy from the current 2 percent to 5 percent by 2026.

This is also expected to eventually result in their emancipation.

From stock brokers to fund managers and investors, women’s participation in the country’s capital markets remains low, a worrisome trend that needs addressing, according to the experts.

Speaking at an event to commemorate International Women’s Day hosted by the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in partnership with the CFA South Africa Platinum Securities, stock broker Ms Emilia Chibhanguza emphasised the need for upskilling women and girls in investment matters and capital markets at an early age.

To achieve this, she said, it also takes stakeholders already in the sector to play a leading role in changing the narrative by mentoring young girls and women, inculcating a culture of investing as well as enhancing their literacy in capital markets.

“Imagine if we take girls straight from their O’ Level stage and teach them what it takes to be in the capital markets, what investments are,” said.

“If every company takes for instance five students and spends some time with them teaching them trading of stocks, they can go back to their communities and share the knowledge with peers.

“This can also influence their choice of Advanced Level subjects, in favor of commercial subjects as they prepare for a career in this sector,” said Ms Chibhanguza.

Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) director of investor education Mrs Farai Mpofu concurred by explaining how the capital markets regulator is taking investor education to high schools including those in rural areas to tap into the youth demographic dividend. The SecZim initiatives include demystifying the seemingly complex investment procedures and enhancing capacity building for potential investors, particularly women and youth in rural areas, where the bulk of the country’s population resides.

“We have developed a capital markets awareness tool kit, which walks hand in hand with the capital markets index, which seeks to measure the level of awareness.

“The toolkit comprises a book written by Zimbabweans for Zimbabweans detailing the full history of the capital markets and an investor has everything they need to know about capital markets, from their role, to sustainable economic development. We have taken the task to summarize the book into a more manageable edition and translated it into different languages like Shona and Ndebele. We believe the desire to invest in capital markets will grow as a result of greater understanding,” she said in an interview on the sidelines of the event.

The event ran under the theme ring of a bell.

ZSE marketing manager Ms Tapiwa Bepe said the event was part of the collaborations under the ring a bell event, which serves to remind women and young girls that they can also accelerate their growth in the sector.

“The event was to give each other key nuggets on how we can navigate capital markets, which are currently male-dominated,” she said.