The Pink tax: Why women pay more for everything | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 20, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 20, 2020

The Pink tax: Why women pay more for everything

Pink tax lurks in the corners of every supermarket and affects half of the global consumers, with the vast majority being grossly unaware. It is not charged by the government as per any other tax such as sales or income. Rather, it is a phrase used to describe the inflated prices on products or services targeted at women compared with the equivalent sold to men. It is real and regrettably, unavoidable.

A recent study carried out by the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York city revealed a great deal of shocking statistics focusing on 800 products with male and female versions. The study found a children's vehicle in two different colours, red and pink at a popular supermarket. The red scooter aimed for boys came with a tag of $24.99 while the pink one costed $49.99.

In the local scenario, 250 ml shower gels by a well-known brand are being sold at Tk. 375 and Tk. 420, the latter for women. Heading over to the toys section, Barbie and Ken are tagged with a price of Tk. 2680 and Tk. 2480. Between an Avengers-themed backpack and one with unicorn horn and glitter ears, a Tk. 100 difference was seen. The pricier being, you guessed it right, the pink bag, "for girls". It is to note that both bags were of similar quality and size. It goes on. Two infant dolls. The girl with brown hair having a price of Tk. 25 more than the boy wearing a cap. Discrepancies exist, in low and high a number.

This is the cost of being a female.

Women on average, live longer than men. However, they do pay more for everything and get paid less in the current world. Although the gender wage gap is closing in to zero in some countries like, Luxembourg at a disparity of 3 %, more work needs to be done in developed countries such as, the United States and Canada which roughly have an 18 % gap. With that in mind, women are actually paying more than men 42 % of the time. This amounts to $1,300 annually, a figure which could have been saved for better purposes.

Nonetheless, the fact that pink tax is rampant across stores has to do with consumers giving in to deceptive campaigns. Believing that ordinary, gender-neutral products like, razors, deodorant are specially concocted to suit the feminine body is one example. It is typical for companies to opt for "pink" packaging and use terms like, soft, delicate, for women to promote the idea. Often, services and brands try to justify a higher price tag on female products. The reasoning is misleading most of the times yet very well-received by buyers. These reasons must be carefully investigated upon and reported if necessary. However, it is important for females to be conscious while shopping and decide if a costlier item is worth the money and what ramifications are there with an increasing purchase of the said brand. That is, support companies which take a stand against the issue. Choose women-owned products, buy in bulk. Make sure the expense is sensible as per personal need and budget.


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