The pink tax is an invisible price paid by women. This is the amount they have to pay for the products that are specially designed for them.
A study done in New York found that products made for women cost 7% more than similar products made for men. In the case of personal care products, this difference widens to 13%. This difference is not limited to New York or developed countries only, but women in India also pay pink tax on a wide range of goods and services produced specifically for them.
For example, most salons charge more for women’s haircuts than men’s. This is also true for personal care products like razors and deodorant. A disposable razor from a well-known brand costs around Rs 20 for men and the cheapest disposable razor for women from the same company costs around Rs 55. While the ‘Women’s Edition’ is hardly any different from the usual apart from the packaging.
What is Pink Tax and are you paying it?
Women already suffer from the pay gap and opportunity gap, but did you know you also pay a tax called the pink tax? And no, there is no blue tax for men.
Open your wardrobe and take a look at your clothes. Whether it’s dresses, kurtas, or jeans – and of any brand – you’ll rarely find real, functional pockets. Have you ever wondered why most women’s clothes do not have pockets? Some say this is because bulging pockets ruin the female silhouette and that “fashion” is more important than utility. Others say it has a historical significance that reflects gender inequality.
But if you look at the variety of women’s bags – purses, sling bags, clutches, totes, and wristbands – you’ll probably arrive at the most plausible answer. If women’s clothing had pockets, how would the handbag industry have prospered? This is one of the many examples of pink tax.
What is pink tax?
The pink tax is not an official tax; Don’t let this term confuse you. However, this is the invisible cost that women pay for products and services designed and marketed specifically for them. This can take two forms – one, like in the example above, where women spend a lot on something that men rarely use; and second, paying more for products for which men spend less.
Personal care items like razors and deodorant are great examples of this. Look at any popular brand in the country, and a quick price comparison will reveal that they sell similar women’s products at significantly higher prices than men’s products.
Why does the pink tax exist?
Your first reaction will be that this is unfair. After this, you must be wondering why is it so. Since the pink tax is not formal or clear, there is no single reason why it should be imposed.
Many people in the fashion and beauty industry would say that women are willing to pay more than men for certain things because they care more about their looks and are more fashion-conscious than men. Another reason could be packaging. It’s no secret that most women love attractive packaging, be it makeup or stationery.
It is also believed that women are less price elastic than men, meaning they are less likely to switch to another brand when there is a slight change in the price of a product. Women are more loyal to brands and don’t measure the experience against just the benefits they spend.
It may be a combination of the above reasons, but most companies find that when women are their target consumers, they can effectively position themselves, build their brands, and promote their products and services to a higher standard. Can sell at cost. then if men were their target consumers.
How much pink tax am am I paying?
It is estimated that as a woman, you are paying $1300 more annually than men for basic products and services. That’s almost Rs 1 lakh! Think about what you could do instead – from investing to planning a vacation.
A study by the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York compared the prices of over 800 products and found that women’s products cost 7% more than similar products for men. The difference is more significant in some product categories. For example, personal care products account for 13%.
Is there any way to avoid or reduce the pink tax?
Although it is not possible to completely avoid the pink tax, you can take some steps to reduce it.
Try some products for men where the actual composition or usefulness of the product doesn’t matter