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What is the Pink Tax?

Unfortunately gender inequality is a thing. Women tend to get the short end of the stick. It happens in the job market, in education, and even with the products we buy. Retail gender inequality that targets women has been coined “the pink tax.” The pink tax is when a product or service marketed to women costs more than identical or nearly identical versions that are marketed to men. It usually happens on things like soap, shampoo, or deodorant that everyone uses irregardless of gender.

The pink tax is not an actual tax that goes to the government. Rather, it’s a euphemism that people who buy products marketed toward women are being “taxed” due to their gender. The “tax” goes to the companies who make those products. In some states, there is an actual sales tax on feminine hygiene products that does go to the government. Although this is another (literal) pink tax, it is a separate issue because men don’t use these products and therefore there is nothing identical to compare it to.

History of the Pink Tax

The pink tax has been looked at by researchers since at least the 1990s. In 2015 New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs took a look at 794 products and found that 42% of the products marketed toward women were priced higher than nearly identical items marketed specifically for men. They found that the pink tax doesn’t just happen with women, but girls as well. The study found:

  • Girls' toys cost more 55% of the time.

  • Girls’ clothing cost more 26% of the time.

  • Women’s clothing cost more 40% of the time.

  • Women’s home health products cost more 45% of the time.

  • Personal care items marketed toward women cost more 56% of the time.

The pink tax adds up. In 1994, the State of California passed a law to limit the pink tax. They found that women paid an annual “gender tax” of $1,351 for the same products and services as men. In today’s money, that is around $2700.

There really is no reason for a pink tax. On average, women are paid less than men and also tend to do most of the unpaid work in the home. As a whole, women earn 82 cents for every dollar that a man earns. And the problem is more pronounced with race; black women earn 64 cents and hispanic women 57 cents for every dollar that a white man earns. Earning less means less purchasing power and with the pink tax, this affects women even more.

Avoiding the Pink Tax

Several states, cities, and counties have passed laws against gender based pricing but these laws are few and far between. There have been attempts to pass something on a federal level, but it has never gotten enough votes. Contacting local and state lawmakers is one way to draw more attention to the issue and encourage them to pass legislation.

If you are someone who uses products that are affected by a pink tax, purchase items that are more gender neutral or even marketed toward men. If you compare your favorite brands and find a pink tax, contact the companies to demand change.

Empowering Women

The pink tax is absolutely unnecessary, but it does draw even more attention to how women are treated differently. All genders use things like shampoo, but since a woman’s appearance is considered an important part of who she is, shampoo for women is marketed differently and sometimes even more aggressively than it is for men. 

Valuing and empowering women is something that we are proud of at Qyral. Not everyone is as into skincare as we are but everyone should be interested in building people up, no matter their gender, race, occupation, or anything that can affect how someone is perceived. We are a company founded by a woman who wants to help others achieve success. We’re doing that by paying commission to consultants. You are rewarded on what you promote, no matter if you’re a woman, man, or non-binary person.

We will provide you with the training and tools to be successful. In the end, we hope to make an impact on the lives of many people. 

Hopefully someday the pink tax will no longer be a thing… 

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