Bauer signals major campaign against sexually transmitted debt and female financial abuse

Posted 8 March 2019 in Announcement

Bauer Media, Australia’s leading multi-platform publisher, has today 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 centered 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,” Ms. Waterhouse said.

The Financially Fit Females campaign will drive 1 million actions to increase understanding and educate women around key issues:

  • Financial and economic abuse; what it is and how to recognise it
  • Savings and investments
  • Maximizing super
  • Being paid appropriately
  • Navigating separation and divorce

Anna Bligh, CEO of the Australian Banking Association, acknowledges Bauer’s Financially Fit Females campaign is an important initiative.

“Helping women to fully understand and be informed and confident in their financial decisions is important and will go a long way towards addressing the many issues associated with female financial abuse”, Ms Bligh said.

According to last year’s Melbourne Institutes HILDA survey, Australian women are much less financially literate than men with 85 percent of women under 35 not fully understanding “fundamental investment concepts”.

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,” Ms Connolly said.

Mr 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,” Mr Dykzeul said.

Further facts on female economic abuse:

  • The life-time prevalence of economic abuse for women is 15.7%, while for men it’s 7.1 %
  • Women are less likely to be involved in financial planning, acquiring and managing long-term investments
  • The risk of economic abuse peaks between the ages of 40 and 49. In this age group, 20.9% of women and 10.3% of men reported economic abuse.
  • Among women who have sought help from domestic violence services, the prevalence of economic abuse ranges from 78% to 99%
  • Women were more likely to have a history of economic abuse if they were separated or divorced; had a lower levels of education; were unemployed; or lived in households with second and lowest income quintiles.
  • Banking, savings and investments. – Women are less likely than men to have investments and have 20% less in savings and investments (Source: Roy Morgan)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Dec 18. Total unduplicated Bauer network.

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