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  • Ashi Gudibanda

‘The Pink Tax’: Why should I have to pay more than him?

What is ‘The Pink Tax’?

The pink tax is the term used for the price markup on products designed and marketed specifically for women. It is a gender-based price difference, wherein the ‘female’ version of products that both men and women typically consume are priced higher than the ‘male’ version. As I am sure we all know, pink is stereotyped as a feminine colour, 'just for girls', and while this is not true, the term ‘the pink tax’ stems from the fact that a lot of women’s products marked at higher prices are pink in colour.

The pink tax, while affecting products such as razors, shampoo, and medicines goes as far as to affect products for children and babies, meaning gender discrimination is not only faced by adult women but also by newborn babies, toddlers, and female children of all ages. From toys to clothes, mere infants are subjected to this discrimination, and their parents are made to shell out extra money for the pink toy or the pink skirt for no fathomable or acceptable reason.

Statistically, women pay ₹1,11,778.48 more per year as compared to men, for the same or similar goods and services, due to the ‘pink tax’. Hygiene products and medicines, products that are necessary for one’s health are priced higher for absolutely no reason. It does not cost more to make the same razor in pink instead of blue, or to make shampoo for female-specific hair. Haircuts should not be priced so vastly differently based on gender and children should be able to buy toys in whichever colour they want without the price being raised unnecessarily.

The Pay Gap: Women globally are paid around a whopping 20% less than men in the workplace for the same quality and amount of work done, if not work higher in quantity and quality. However, this is not the only way women are discriminated against in the workplace, the gender divide already being present in the workplace with the majority of leadership positions being given to men.

Just because I am a woman, I and countless others will have to pay over one lakh rupees more than a man each year of my life for my basic needs and welfare, in addition to working more to earn less money, not to mention the countless other social injustices women face in our society. If half of the population of the world, 3.905 billion people, have to lead comparatively more difficult lives, how far have we really come as a society and how long is the journey to an equal world?

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