We had to fight for the right to vote, which we got finally, in August of 1920.
We had to fight to become jurors because men thought we were too fragile and sympathetic by nature to be objective. So it wasn't until 1973 that women finally were able to serve on juries in all 50 states.
We actually had to fight for the right to get a darn credit card. And it wasn't until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 that it became illegal to refuse to give a woman a credit card based on her gender.
Even Louise Gunderson, one of UBS' powerhouse financial advisors, told us that she had to enter social clubs from the side door because women weren't allowed to walk in the main entrance 20 years ago. She proudly walks through the front door everywhere today.
And currently we are fighting for the right to wage and gender equality. We have done so much fighting to get what we rightfully deserve.
And yet 56% of married women willingly still leave investment decisions to their husbands and willingly give up financial freedom, according to a study done by UBS (UBS) - Get Report , Own Your Worth. Willingly. What? Why?
"You can't say you want equal rights if you don't want to equally deal with the finances in your household," says Jane Schwartberg, head of strategic client segment business at UBS, whose team compiled the report.
And, yes, we have heard this before. Sallie Krawcheck, founder of Ellevest, has said that, "Women will not be fully equal with men until we are financially equal with men." But we will never be financially equal if we don't come to the table.
And while we need wage equality, we understand that people play different roles in the family. You don't need to earn as much as your partner. You just need to know what the heck is going on. With your house. With your retirement. With your big financial picture. You need to be on the same page - financially.
"1 in 8 will get breast cancer so she'll never miss her mammogram, yet 8 of every 10 women will be alone later in life, and they're not doing anything to prepare for that," says Schwartzberg. Sadly, gender roles run deep, as we know. Many people find they're replicating the family they grew up with.
And for some reason, still, both women and men are convinced that men make better investors. Yet that's not substantiated, and studies actually have shown the contrary. For me, one of the most shocking statistics from the UBS report was that 61% of millennial women, more than any other generation, are willing to let their husbands make the investment decisions.
Then how will we ever be equal?
Oh I get it. There are so many facets to running a household and a family. You need to offload something to your partner. But this ain't it.
"Financial independence gives you freedom and confidence," says Janis Cowhey, partner at the tax and accounting firm Marcum and co-leader of the newly named Modern Family & LGBT Services Practice Group.
And finally makes us equal.
So on this Independence Day, strive for financial independence. Commit to learn about what's going on around you. Don't be one of the 8 in 10 women that will wake up one day alone and unprepared.
There is a free seat at the financial table waiting for you.
Go get it.