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The Pink Tax

Back in 1994, a report from California's Assembly Office of Research revealed an alarming pattern: 64% of stores in five major cities charged higher prices for washing and dry cleaning a woman's blouse compared to a man's button-up shirt. Thus they coined “Pink Tax”, which draws on the stereotype of the color pink representing femininity and the marketing strategy behind inflated prices for products targeted at women.

The pink tax is not an actual tax per se, but rather refers to the additional costs women incur when purchasing certain products or services that are essentially the same as those used by men but marketed specifically to women. Extensive research has identified hundreds of products and services that fall under the Pink Tax.

Examples of products subjected to the Pink Tax include razors, shampoo, deodorant, and certain clothing items. These additional costs can accumulate over time and have a more pronounced impact on women, particularly given the gender wage gap and women's lower average earnings compared to men.

While there hasn't been extensive research on the Pink Tax in India, surveys have revealed price differences between products marketed to women and men. For instance, women's perfume often costs more without any clear reason, (atleast I am happy that an effort is put into making the soaps look prettier). Moreover, the Pink Tax extends beyond products and encompasses services provided to both genders. A striking example is the fact that a woman's haircut can cost 60% more than a man's haircut. The justifications provided for the higher cost of a woman's haircut often seem illogical, such as the assumption that women have longer hair, additional hygiene considerations, different training requirements, or simply because "that's the way it is."

Even today, the Pink Tax remains a topic of debate and controversy as it sheds light on the gender pay gap and gender-based discrimination within consumer marketing. Despite being prohibited in several countries, the Pink Tax continues to persist, impacting women's purchasing power and perpetuating inequality. Sed!

Where else did you observe Pink Tax? Let me know in the comments section.

Thanks to these Sources: IJCRT, Forbes, World Economic Forum. Image uses an icon from Flaticon.


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