A new video interview released by the Rockefeller Foundation as part of a series on solvable problems around the world features Saudi Arabia’s new Ambassador to the United States, Princess Reema bint Bandar, discussing the issue of a lack financial literacy for women across the world.
“Today more and more women are entering the workplace, but they still do not have the education or the tools in order to make the correct financial decisions for themselves. I consider financial literacy and financial sufficiency for women to be an issue that is solvable in our lifetime,” Princess Reema says in the video interview.
The video, in an interview format, highlights how Princess Reema has championed the cause of making women financially literate around the world. Princess Reema references her experience as a CEO in the retail sector in Saudi Arabia with how women can struggle with financial illiteracy and why that puts them at a disadvantage in life. Women around the world sometimes do not even have access to their own finances, and women can be taken advantage of by their husbands or other male members of their families. In some countries, men will take a loan out on behalf of women and put their family in debt.
Princess Reema wanted to help, so she founded an organization dedicated to expanding financial literacy for women.
“I think it is absolutely critical that these women have the ability not only to not be burdened by other peoples’ debts but also once they are in debt to learn the skills and tools to get out of it. We have a sufficiency tool kit where we teach women the difference between an obligation between a need and between a want,” Princess Reema says in the interview.
“I want to give my children everything. I need to give them a home and clothing and shelter. I am obliged to pay my taxes. There’s a difference. We educate them to sometimes minimize needs in order to pay obligations. And what I noticed is every woman we were table to take out of debt was a new woman.
“A woman that makes logical and rational financial decisions is a woman that raises a son that expects a woman to enter the workplace — is a woman who raises a daughter who recognizes her place and her future and is a woman who has independence,” Princess Reema says in the video.
“I truly believe that liberty for women comes from the ability to make financial decisions for her life. This is not a high tech solution, this is a low tech solution for a low tech problem that has a high impact if we can solve it.”
Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed the first female Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States in February 2019.