Whenever you enter a store, do you notice the price difference in the same products which are designed for different genders? Why does a haircut at a salon for women cost more in comparison to a man’s haircut? Why are women’s products costlier than men’s products? Why women products and services are more expensive than men? Why are women paying extra for every product and service? This is what we call pink tax.
There is always an extra cost on products specifically designed and marketed for women and girls. This discrepancy in prices on similar or comparable products for men and women is called pink tax. This price discrepancy phenomenon is criticized a lot as it attributes to gender-based price discrimination. This article contains everything you need to know about pink tax.
Pink Tax Explained
Gender-based pricing is an upcharge on products traditionally designed for women. It’s not just the women but this cost also affects young girls too. This price discrepancy can be seen in the toys, clothing, and hygiene products. These pricing strategies are based on the study that women are willing to pay more for personal care products in comparison to men. Another reason that gets attention amid all this pink tax discussion is that women are fashionable and are more conscious about their appearance. Therefore considering their paying capacity and willingness, companies are designing the products accordingly.
Is pink tax real?
As per a study by the New York Department of Consumer Affairs titled ‘Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being A Female Consumer, women are charged 7 percent more for some products. The difference rises to 13 percent when it comes to personal care products. While analyzing nearly 800 items in 35 product categories, the study found the price discrepancy across 30 of those product categories.
As per another study, hair care products cost women 48 percent more, and then razor cartridges were the second-highest, costing 11 percent more than average.
Why Is It Called “Pink Tax”?
This extra cost levied on women’s products is titled “pink tax” because most of the products are designed in pink or purple. Companies do their best to target women consumers in their gender-normative sales practices by designing products in pink or purple colors. To make those products more engrossing, they add floral or fruity fragrances too.
Is Pink Tax Charged By Government?
Pink tax is not actually a tax but an income-generating strategy used by companies. The only beneficiary of the pink tax is the companies and not the government. Therefore, the extra cost that women have to pay has nothing to do with the government taxation system.
What Is The Economic Impact Of Pink Tax?
As per International Labour Organization, the gender wage gap is quite huge. Women work more, are paid less and are charged high for almost all the products and services. Therefore, this phenomenon is leading to financial inequalities and makes women financially weaker. Reportedly, a study found that there is an average of 19 percent of wage gap between men and women.
In the UK, girls and women are charged 37 per cent more for toys, cosmetics and clothes in comparison to boys and men.
Ban On Pink Tax
New York took the first step to restrict these gender based price discrimination by banning the pink tax. The law introduced and implemented by New York state prohibits any individual or entity, including retailers, suppliers, manufacturers or distributors, from charging a different price for two “substantially similar” goods or services based on the gender for whom the goods or services are marketed.
Is Pink Tax Legal in India?
Pink tax is not what the government charges. It is an extra cost that companies charge as their marketing strategies. This is an upcharge that is subtle but not overt, unethical but not illegal.
How To Get Rid Of Pink Tax?
- The only way to get rid of pink tax is by awaring more and more women about this gender based discrimination.
- Women need to do the comparison of the prices of the products designed for men and women.
- Women can give their feedback or raise voice against brands which are indulged in this gender based pricing practices
- Can go for gender neutral products
- Instead of choosing pink products or products that specifically resonate with femininity, you can pick blue colored products which can do the same work which a pink taxed product will do.
Is Pink Tax And Tampon Tax The Same?
Often confused with the pink tax, tampon tax is a different form of tax. These are two different upcharges that affect women. Pink tax is not a tax in actual terms and is there in almost all the women’s products. However, tampon tax is a sales tax that is applied to pads, tampons, liners, and other feminine hygiene items.
India scrapped the controversial tampon tax after receiving huge backlash for branding sanitary pads and tampons as luxury items. The tax slab for women sanitary products was 12%. The decision came after over a month of campaigning by the activists who raised concerns about period poverty. An online petition with the name Lahu Ka Lagaan (blood tax) was signed by over 4,00,000 people.
Therefore, yes, pink tax is a real thing and is a practice that should come to an end. The end customer of these products and services need to get aware and take action against the same. We hope this article on pink tax explained is helpful to grasp the whole concept and you’ll become a wise consumer while fighting for your rights.
This article is written by Varsha. You can reach out to the author via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.