The (hidden) cost of being a woman | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 02, 2021

The (hidden) cost of being a woman

The chronicles of women are strongly accentuated in various parts of history, more often so owing to the notable effort we have to exert in order to overcome the constant barricades thrown our way — opportunities that the opposite gender can take for granted, but which we receive as a “privilege.”

Albeit the discrepancies that persist, women have made notable progress, whether by breaking the glass ceiling at work to some extent or by successfully highlighting their contribution towards the economy. The entire gender discrimination scenario finally seems to enervate —but is it really the case?

Truth be told, gender discrimination is not only limited to salary discrepancies, professional roles or promotion at work, but rather it extends its deadly grasp on rudimentary parts of an economy, such as price. Price discrimination exists in the form of pink tax — a tax unlike any other, which remains hidden within the price tags of products catered towards women.

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No matter how much we women are told to be silent about this topic, justified by explanations that lack logic, one cannot deny that pink tax is indeed real. If you are ever at a supermarket aisle, try comparing the price of unisex products and you will notice that just because the female version looks more feminine, they are costlier with no apparent rationalisation. 

Whether it is attributed towards capitalising on the naïve consumer perspective of females or just another way to remind us of female subjugation embedded in a patriarchal society, the pink tax is the unnecessary price we have to pay, simply for being a woman. Fun fact —marketers even have a terminology for this concept, which is known as "shrink it and pink it!"

Superficially, the difference in price may not seem like much, but the accumulation of slight percentages here and there really adds up to a significant amount. The pink tax is omnipresent, regardless of the category of products or age of the consumer. Starting from infancy to old age, almost all products women use throughout life come tagged with this hidden charge.  

Ranging from everyday essentials including personal care and hygiene products to services such as haircuts, the pink tax is unavoidable. And if you are thinking this is limited to only non-essential items, surprisingly you are wrong, because comparing the price of painkillers that are said to mitigate menstrual cramps with ordinary painkillers shall leave you amazed.   

Unfairly, this is the extra price about half of the population pay every time they shop, which sadly often goes unnoticed even by the payer. Perhaps in our odyssey to attain a greater degree of feminism by trying to overcome myriad hurdles, the pink tax has been overlooked for a while.  

But all is not doom and gloom, as this increasing awareness may indeed be a harbinger of a complete eradication of the pink tax, much like the other milestones we have graciously achieved over time powered by the zeal and spirit of womanhood.

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