Pink Tax: The Cost Overrun on Products Marketed to Women

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between products that are advertised differently for women and for men? Usually just marketing.

The Woman Post | Valentina Ibarra

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Price discrimination based on gender, in which women are charged more for the same products, is called “Pink Tax.”

A survey of 800 gender-differentiated products, conducted by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, showed that, on average, women pay 7% more than men. For example, hygiene products are 13% more expensive for women, while in clothing the numbers rise to 8%. It is not a characteristic of a specific brand, as more than 90 corporations were investigated during the investigation.

Even products with no different characteristics except color feel the impact of disparity. For example, a girls 'scooter costs $25 more than the boys' version. But can we put hygiene and personal products in the same bag? Are the ingredients different? According to different studies, the variety comes from the smell and color, but not from the efficacy or specific needs of each genre (Time, 2016). But how much does it cost women? According to Cosmopolitan, the average extra payment is $1,000.

Also, it is even more concerning when there is a gap in medical products. According to Wehner (2017), there was a 40% increase in the price of combined minoxidil when it was marketed to women. And still, it's not a documented problem, as they claimed that there was no gender-based information on the price of the drugs when they did the research. So for now, it seems we don't know how the pink tax is affecting the healthcare industry.


In addition, in several countries vintage products – tampons, sanitary napkins, menstrual cups – have a tax on luxury items, making them unaffordable. Fortunately, countries like the United Kingdom and recently Colombia are approving the elimination of this additional cost, because they are necessities of the first order for women and should not cost more.

The reasons why the pink tax exists may vary, but it is influenced by the role assigned to women only by their gender. The high standards that women must meet to look presentable make it mandatory to buy the products, even at higher prices. Gender beauty standards influence the way we interact with products, but they shouldn't. For example, shaving the legs, washing the face, and wearing perfumes are more internalized in the minds of girls than in boys. Looking pretty and smelling good shouldn't cost you more based on your gender.

And it gets even worse when it affects the prices of medicines and related products because access to good health should not be defined by our gender.

So from now on, check if the advertising is making the product more expensive without a real need. If so, save your pink tax money and shop for the best product by avoiding the influence of gender-based marketing strategies.

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