On Monday, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), along with 24 cosponsors, introduced the Pink Tax Repeal Act in Congress to combat the unequal pricing of products based on gender.
The “pink tax” refers to the higher prices of products that are marketed toward women when compared with similar products marketed toward men, contributing to the unequal financial burdens that women face. Some of these products, including shaving cream, antiperspirant, and even pain relievers, can cost up to 50% more.
The Pink Tax Repeal Act to stop gender-pricing in both goods and services, allows the Federal Trade Commission to impose sanctions against violators, and permits state attorneys general to take civil action against this discrimination on behalf of consumers.
In a press release on her website, Congresswoman Speier states, “These acts of discrimination have cost women incalculable economic damage while fostering misogynistic attitudes that fight to keep women from achieving true equality in America.”
In December of 2015, the New York Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a study on gender-based pricing in New York City and found that, on average, products for women cost seven percent more than products for men. A woman can spend up to $100,000 in pink tax dollars over the course of her lifetime.
Gender-discriminatory pricing in goods and services only adds to the effect of the gender wage gap, further undermining women’s economic security and ability to make ends meet. Currently, women, on average, are paid only 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, and women of color experience even larger wage gaps: African-American women, for example, are paid only 60 cents for every dollar a white man earns, and Latinas make only 55 cents. The gender wage gap alone costs women, on average, more than $430,000 over the course of a 40-year career, according to research from the National Women’s Law Center.