The price of buying pink – 09/04/19

A lot of products on shelves these days are advertised for certain demographics and audiences. However there seems to be an unfair difference in the products tailored to men and women. Toiletries appear to be the main culprits, with deodorant and razors. In many packets of razors, you get less for you money buying razors specifically branded for women. They have smaller heads and handles indicating that they’re designed for smaller hands.

MP’s debated a bill last week that will aim to scrap the “gender price gap” on “pink tax”. The bill will look at products such as razors and deodorants that have been known to be specifically marketed for female audiences.

The pink tax is part of a larger debate about how many essential items are considered to be luxuries. Sanitary items such as tampons and pads are charged an additional sales tax because they are considered to be a ‘luxury’ item. This has caused a large debate about how periods are a natural occurrence and should not be considered to be a indulgence.

Recently, the SU has made efforts in showing students that they have priced sanitary items as low as reasonably possible to show their support against sanitary items being considered a luxury item.

The New York Department of Consumer Affairs released a study comparing prices of over 800 products. The goal of the study was the guess the differences in price of products tailored to men and women. The results found that products advertised or designed for female shoppers we on average 7 percent more than comparable products designed/advertised for male shoppers. ‘Personal care products’, such as toiletries were 13 percent more for women than for men.

But why is there a difference in price for products advertised for women?  The pink tax revolves around the idea that companies charge women more for toiletries, clothes and personal care products because they will pay more for the packaging and the aesthetics of the product. This idea also highlights that there is an assumption that women are more materialistic.

BIC pens have been criticised for releasing pens specifically for women that are smaller and pick. However, these are the only differences between their standard biro pen and their ‘for her’ range.

The pink tax indicates that being a woman costs. This shows that when the pink tax is combined with the gender wage gap – women are worse off. The pink tax is another way that women are being discriminated against in society. Hopefully the proposed bill will be passed and invoke lasting change.

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