When a woman shops online or from a shop at the mall, she is likely to pay more for a product, unlike men. And sometimes, the extra might even go up to 50%. And that’s the price we are paying for being a woman. For the majority of women, this point doesn’t exist as we have accepted it as usual and we choose to ignore it rather than voicing it out.
It is a phenomenal rule all over the globe, for a lady to pay more for goods and services than men. The price differential is also known as the Pink tax or Gender Tax. The stereotype of gender-biased treatment already started in the west, and the term Pink tax was introduced, coding girls and women with the color pink.
There has been an opinion about the pink tax for a long time now, but what do we know about it? Why are women charged more than men, for basic amenities? Although it may be less evident nowadays, women have been historically charged more for services and products that are essentially the same.
Gender-based pricing is pretty much common for amenities including haircuts, dry cleaning, and even health insurance
What is Pink Tax?
The Pink Tax is a term used to describe the additional charges imposed on products that are designed for women but are also available for men. Women’s products are made with the philosophy “Shrink it and Pink it”! Products that are heavily charged are shampoos, shirts, and support and braces. And that also includes services like hair cutting, mortgages, car repairs, and dry cleaning.
Why Do Women Pay More?
We all know the expression that says, Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. Well, where women and shopping are concerned, the prices are going to touch the sky, irrespective of which planet they are shopping on.
Women spending their money on pens, razors, designer fragrances, beauty products, undergarments, and a tee from the local store, we need to pay a surcharge for being a woman. The biased world will never come to terms with gender equality. Although in theory, men and women have equal access to a shop, in practice, products targeted towards women often have a higher price tag compared to similar or identical products marketed towards men. And that’s where the Pink Tax plays a role.
Is The Pink Tax Levied By The Government?
The pink tax is not a tax, it is a socio-economic one. A term labeled for women’s products that are necessary for a woman to use and the price is higher than what men are offered. Most of the time products are identical or almost the same, yet women’s products are pricey, pink, and have irresistible packaging.
Companies use the pink tax as a way to sell products to women at a higher price, and they benefit from it equally. The government holds no such tax for its consumers. However, it is not banned in India because it doesn’t belong to the government. It is unethical but not illegal.
Survey to Service- Is Pink Tax Real?
In 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) came out with a study. The report titled “From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer,” discovered that on average, women-related products are 7% more than similar products for men. However, this is not the end. They also found the biggest gap in personal care products, women pay 13% extra.
During the survey, they also looked into 794 individual products, segregated into 35 categories across five industries. Product prices were pulled off from various brands and stores. Products were chosen based on their branding, ingredients, appearance, textile, construction, and marketing.
And the results were, 42% of the time, women paid more for their products, whereas only 18% of the time, men paid more. Prices were equal 40% of the time.
And the most important takeaway from this report was that the pink tax follows a woman through various stages of her life, paying more for the basic childhood toys to later in life, canes.
Price Disparity- Why Is The New Question?
Other than outright discrimination, there are a few more possibilities for price disparity.
This is one of the main reasons claimed by the brand. They also claim about the usage of different ingredients, packing material, fragrances, and appearance for women’s products, while for men they use simple and uncomplicated materials and ingredients.
It is believed that women are less sensitive to the tariffs when compared to men, and thus willing to spend more for the same items.
Marketing and societal norms also play an important role. However, the practice is widely seen as a form of gender-based discrimination that unfairly impacts women.
How To Avoid Paying More:
If we wish to avoid paying more for women’s products and services, we should opt for gender-neutral products, ignore what a product is intended for, and pick the cheapest version. This strategy is for individual women to prevent the pink tax from hurting their wallets. Women need to be more discerning consumers if we wish to break their approach. Most of the products are identical or have the slightest variations. Check and verify if the items you are picking are also marketed to men, and if it’s cheaper, it is a win-win situation.
Tips And Tricks:
- Support companies who take a stand against pink tax with gender-neutral pricing.
- Go for gender-neutral items while you are shopping for toys, razors, shampoo, deodorants, etc.
- Be a savvy shopper. Don’t go for pinky products when the blue tint bottle can do the same thing.
- Compare. Shop. Repeat.
- Voice out about the Pink tax, and let your fellow women know about it. Together we can bring in a change for ourselves.
- Word-of-mouth is very powerful among female consumers. Advise your friends and family about products/ services they shouldn’t be using while opting for gender-neutral products.
The closer we work towards transforming gender inequality versus simply being aware of it, the closer we will reach actual gender equality. Let’s join hands and break the patriarchal social norms and thrive together as one.