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Pink Tax: How US Women Overpay Tens of Thousands of Dollars for Everyday Goods

The sad fact: even in 2019, women are at a disadvantage compared to men, writes Good Housekeeping.

Фото: Depositphotos

For example, women are constantly paid less than men for the same work: women earn 80,5 cents for every dollar a man gets for labor, the wage gap is 20%. For colored women, the gap is even wider. Women are also often charged a higher interest rate on mortgages, despite their consistently higher credit ratings.

In addition, the United States is one of two countries that does not oblige employers to provide women with paid maternity leave. According to the report of the National Partnership of Women and Families, “the loss of a woman’s income during pregnancy or parental leave can have significant and even devastating consequences for her family.”

Women also have to deal with the pink tax.

What is pink tax?

The pink tax is an additional amount women pay for everyday goods and services such as razors, shampoos, haircuts, clothing, dry cleaning and more. This “tax” applies to items that span a woman's life, from toys for girls and school uniforms to walking sticks, braces and diapers for adults.

Prices for individual products may not seem so different - say, $ 3,79 versus $ 3,99 for deodorant - but over time, this small increase can add up to a large sum.

According to, a pink tax costs a 30-year-old woman more than $ 40. A woman in her 000s gives around $ 60 that men should not pay. Currently, no federal law prohibits companies from charging different prices for identical items based on gender.

One particularly controversial part of the pink tax is known as the tampon tax: the fee that women charge for feminine hygiene products. Almost all US states exempt non-luxurious necessities such as food and prescription drugs, but all but 10 states levy a tax on tampons and women's pads, despite the need for most women.

On the subject: 12 profitable tax deductions and refunds you can get

Social media hashtags such as #genderpricing, #pinktax and #AxThePinkTax have drawn attention to gender pricing.

Retailers often make every effort to share the same products with different prices, so it’s not easy to notice the difference. On average, research showed that women's products cost 7% more than similar products for men, including 13% more for personal care products, 8% more for adult clothes and 8% more for older products people / for home.

How long does pink tax last?

At least since the early 1990s - that's when California began to study the problem. A 1996 report from the Research Bureau of the State Assembly found that 64% of stores in 5 major cities in California charge a higher price for washing and dry cleaning a women's blouse than a men's button-down shirt. “[These were] clear examples of gender-based price discrimination,” said Assembly Senior Consultant Jackie Speyer.

Based on the results of the study, California passed the 1995 Law on the Abolition of Tax Obligations for Men and Women, which states, inter alia: “No commercial establishment of any kind can be discriminatory in relation to the price charged for services of a similar nature due to for the sex of man. "

In 2013, Speyer was elected to the US House of Representatives. Three years later, she introduced a similar nationwide bill to Congress. She again introduced the pink tax ban bill in 2019, but no formal action was taken.

On the subject: In which states do Americans pay the most and least taxes

How to avoid paying pink tax?

The easiest way to avoid a pink tax is to compare prices whenever possible. Check out the "male" versions of razors, shampoos and other personal care products. Browse basic merchandise for men like T-shirts, button-down shirts, and socks - chances are you will pay less for items of similar or better quality.

Also pay attention to stores and companies that advertise that they are “Pink Tax Free” or offer unisex services.

Which brands are actively fighting the pink tax?

In 2016, Boxed, an online wholesaler, adjusted the prices of some of its personal care products to take into account the pink tax.

“Our team took a close look at some of the products offered on Boxed and realized that many women's products cost significantly more than their male counterparts,” Boxed CEO and founder Chi Huang told PRNewsire. "It just didn't make sense to our team, and we immediately decided it was an issue that we wanted to bring to the fore and take action."

The company even created a “no pink tax” section on its website that lists all products, from tampons to body wash products, which are reduced to gender-neutral prices.

Billie, a UK-based subscription company, offers a referral discount she calls The Pink Tax Rebate.

“On behalf of the shaving companies,” says the company's website, “we're sorry you overpaid for pink razors. It's time to get your money back. ”

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