Bauer Media has launched a major campaign designed to empower and educate the nation’s more than 12 million women about their personal finances and financial abuse.
According to research based on the Australian Bureau of Statistic 2012 Personal Safety Survey 15.7% of women had experienced economic abuse in their lifetimes with the risk of economic abuse peaking at 20.9% for women between the ages of 40 and 49.
The campaign, entitled Financially Fit Females, will be run across Bauer’s 36 media brands, including ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Australian Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day with a combined readership of some 7.5 million.
At a breakfast in Sydney to celebrate International Women’s Day, Jane Waterhouse, general manager of Bauer’s Story 54 said that the campaign is centred around one of the most serious problems facing many Australian women; not having full control and understanding of their finances and how this can lead to financial and economic abuse.
“This campaign will sit at the heart of Bauer’s activist agenda over the coming year and into the future,” Waterhouse said.
Bauer’s finance editor Effie Zahos said, “Women are just as much a part of our economy as men, but many still seem to have a poor understanding of important financial concepts and activities.
“The way a woman deals with savings, superannuation, separation, the gender pay gap and other significant issues can spell the difference between living a financially comfortable life or not.”
Womans Day editor-in-chief Fiona Connolly said major problems could emerge when a woman does not understand her finances and more significantly leaves their management to a partner.
“The situation can become dire for older women whose partners take control of their joint finances, leading to women being forced to live in domestic poverty and suffering from financial abuse.
“The facts are that financial abuse is highly gendered with more than 15 percent of women experiencing financial abuse often in romantic relationships.
“Sexually transmitted debt and inappropriate financial affairs are very real problems for tens of thousands of Australian women,” Connolly said.
Paul Dykzeul, Bauer Media CEO said the Financially Fit Females campaign will build on Bauer’s successful participation in the community push last year to have the GST on female sanitary products, aka “the tampon tax” removed.
“What is now clearer than ever is that a concerted media campaign by a publisher like Bauer around significant women’s issues can have an impact and force real change.
“At Bauer we make no apology for fighting hard for the things women value and we look forward to whichever political party forms government after the election joining with us to drive education for women around their financials,” Dykzeul said.
Photo: Bauer Media editors Elle Lovelock, Effie Zahos, Lisa Green, Fiona Baker, Fiona Connolly