General Article What is the ‘pink tax’ and how does it hinder women?

Topic Selected: Gender Equality Book Volume: 432

By Spencer Feingold, World Economic Forum

  • Gender-based price disparities are known as pink taxes.
  • The pink tax has long imposed an economic burden on women – especially since women continue to earn less than men.
  • The United Nations has called on countries to eliminate the pink tax to ensure women have full and equal access to economic participation.

Men and women often buy similar day-to-day products. But research shows that consumer products targeted and advertised to women are sometimes more expensive than comparable products marketed to men. This disparity is referred to as a so-called pink tax.

Gender-based price disparities are prevalent in several sectors, but one of the most visible is personal care products. These include, for example, soaps, lotions, razor blades and deodorants that are marketed specifically to either women or men.

In the United States, one government study analysed 800 gender-specific products from nearly 100 brands. The report found that, on average, pe...

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