The Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment and FinPowered aim to end the silent reality of economic exploitation

TORONTO, November 9, 2021 /CNW/ – November is recognized as Financial Literacy Month, which shines a light on economic exploitation. Domestic violence cases in Canada nearly doubled during the pandemic, with 93% of victims also experiencing economic abuse.

FinPowered and the Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment (CCFWE) have partnered to provide free financial education to women across Canada and raise awareness about financial abuse and other forms of economic injustice in abusive relationships.

According to the CCFWE, economic abuse involves an abuser withholding money needed for food, clothing or other necessities. It can also include taking your money, controlling your access to financial information, not including you in family financial decisions, requiring accountability for anything you buy, or forcing you to put your name on accounts and then destroy your credit.

A national survey conducted by Statistics Canada showed that only 1 in 3 women report having the financial knowledge and skills to manage their money and ensure their financial security. Svetlana Mamaeva, Miss World Canada 2020 and Schulich School of Business alumnus, started FinPowered with the goal of providing a free financial literacy program to help women become more financially independent.

FinPowered has held 85 free financial education workshops, reaching over 800 women, and will be featured in the Miss World 2021 pageant in December. The global platform, with over one billion viewers, will shed light on economic abuse and create stronger awareness internationally around the importance of financial education for women.

“Increasing women’s financial literacy and limiting the devastating effects of economic violence on victims is a challenge, yes, but it is a battle that can be won,” Mamaeva said.

“Women from marginalized groups are at higher risk of economic abuse due to systemic factors. Culturally appropriate awareness and education about economic abuse is key to protecting women,” said Meseret HaileyesusCEO of the Canadian Center for the Empowerment of Women.

What is economic abuse?

Economic abuse occurs when a domestic partner interferes with employment, controls access to finances, refuses to contribute costs, or incurs financial costs without consent. Women from marginalized groups, including newcomers, refugees, racialized and Indigenous women, are at higher risk of economic exploitation due to other systemic factors.

Economic violence can have a profoundly devastating effect on women: it affects mental health and prevents a woman from leaving an abuser, subsequently prolonging the length of time she is vulnerable to harm. Those who experience economic abuse are five times more likely to experience physical abuse and other forms of gender-based violence, including sexual and psychological abuse. Additionally, when women experience economic abuse as part of coercive control, they are at increased risk of homicide (Surviving Economic Abuse 2019).

About Pageant Group Canada

Pageant Group Canada has been Canada’s leading beauty pageant producer since 2013. They are the official national representatives and advocates of the Miss World Organization’s Beauty with a Purpose social initiative, which has empowered women around the world to making a social difference in their community for 70 years.

About the Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment (CCFWE)

CCFWE is Canada’s only non-profit organization dedicated to ending economic abuse through education, policy change, mentorship and economic empowerment. Situated at Ottawa, CCFWE’s goal is to create national awareness of the impact of economic abuse by empowering survivors to improve their financial literacy and educating policy makers and financial institutions on how they can help. For more information, visit ccfwe.org and follow @CCFWE on social media.

SOURCE CCFWE

Mara R. Wilmoth