Shrink it and Pink it – The Pink Tax


“Shrink it and Pink it.”

The ‘Pink Tax’ also referred to as the Women Tax describes the extra cost that only women pay for products they use, including very basic ones, just because they are aimed at women.

Why is pink more expensive that blue?

Why are female centric products pink/pastel with sparkles and flowers more expensive

Why are male centric products black, grey, dark blue and cheaper

Why are unisex products packaged and priced different to women often a smaller quantity and less durable?

Fact Across the board products for female and male consumers shows


Toys cost more 55% of the time

Clothing cost more 26% of the time


Toys costlier 8% of the time. 

Clothing costlier 7% of the time. 

A careful observation while walking through the aisles of toy stores kids clothing  in any mall you will t notice that, in most cases, toys of the same brand and model intended for female cost more than for male, whether they are scooters, toys in general, or even board games.


Clothing costlier 40% of the time

Personal care products costlier 56% of the time

Dry cleaning more expensive

Haircuts (short hair actually a male cut) more expensive


Clothing costlier 32%of the time. 

Personal care products costlier 13% of the time. 

Dry cleaning  cheaper

Haircuts cheaper

Academic studies, government studies, and women carrying on their daily lives have ‘stumbled’ upon many products marketed toward women that cost more than nearly identical products targeted toward men—and far fewer examples of the opposite!

Overall, products marketed to women cost 42% more! The ‘logic’ women need smaller versions of clothing, different cuts fashions so this cost somewhere between 30-50% more?

Having males in the house my household shopping list includes shaving creams, razors face creams and shampoos for men. By habit I look at prices (the financial planning training, keeping track of inflation). I discovered long ago that the ‘pretty pink feminine’ version of razors, shaving-gels skincare products were a load of marketing gimmicks aimed at the ‘unconscious’ ‘blinkered’ shopper who operates like an automaton. Walk down the aisle pick up stuff why because we ‘always’ use the same stuff!  Gendered products are mostly stacked separately to further obscure the price difference. We are helpfully ‘efficiently’ led down the aisle for women’s products, men’s products etc. cleverly and carefully placed on shelves for our convenience and so we don’t ‘waste’ precious time looking for them!!

There are a lot of gender stereotypes in marketing and pricing all over the world , some I find totally discriminatory a recent example is Lebanon where 7 male members of the Lebanese cabinet announced a new list of 300 subsidized basic commodities as a response to the acute economic crisis in the country. As soon as this was approved and announced, women noticed that their most necessary needs had no place in the list, including sanitary pads and tampons which according to research has had a 320% increase in Lebanon. The price of a standard sanitary pad pack ranges between 13,000 and 34,000 Lebanese pounds, compared to its previous price of 3000 pounds. It is relevant to note that according to Wikipedia Since about 2004, many countries have abolished or reduced sales taxes for tampons and pads, including Kenya, Canada, India, Colombia, Australia, Germany and Rwanda. In India the government has completely exempted sanitary pads from GST by charging a 0% tax rate on the sale of sanitary pads

Let’s take dry cleaning as another example. When questioned why women’s garments cost more to launder/dry clean this was the ‘logic’, “The machines and how they press it, that’s the variation! Ostensibly, the pressers used after washing are only for men’s shirts, so pressing women’s shirts with a whole other system costs more. Women’s shirts just don’t fit in their standard machine, apparently.  My question is with innovation  new products sprouting  up 24/7 worldwide they haven’t gotten themselves an upgraded version for ironing/steam pressing women’s clothes? Really?

These discussion and deliberation have been going on for some time! The fact is that female centric stuff not only cost more but contain less of the product. Why do female consumers in many parts of the world pay more than their males counterparts be it shampoos, razors, soaps, creams, clothes, toys, games etc. This by the way applies to where we live as well

Budget conscious shopping  

Buy the men’s version of razors, shower gel, deodorants

Gendered products are sometimes shelved separately to further obscure price differences. look before you buy!

 Avoid pink and girly toys buy gender neutral they are usually hardier and last longer

Calculate costs as without the math, it’s really hard to know

While several people are still oblivious to the existence of ‘pink tax’ leading organizations local and international must come up with initiatives to spread awareness about the practices causing a hole in our pockets. Sad to realize that this price disparity accompanies girls and women during all stages of life. As adults, they also find more expensive prices for deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, sanitary pads among others.

Women, who generally earn less than men on average, pay a premium for items marketed to them simply because they aren’t aware of this so-called “pink” tax. For women who do not earn a salary they are at a bigger disadvantage, the repercussions of which is beyond the scope of this article

We the females don’t realize how badly we’re getting ripped off because we are so conditioned and hardly ever stop think, leave alone to question, Many of us are fortunate enough to buy female essentials but for a majority even buying sanitary pads is too expensive. 

For all of us women now is the time to question. With social media paying an increasing  role in our lives hashtags like  #genderpricing, #pinktax and #gendertax, calling for an end to ‘luxury’ taxes on these products and gendered pricing in general, must be made more ‘influencing’.

Multiple International awardee for Women Empowerment, Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Sandi Saksena is a Queen, Femtor, Facilitator, Negotiator and personal finance influencer.  A well - known personality in the media for her contributions on personal financial matters and leadership she is regularly featured in various international publications and international platforms as a speaker/host/moderator.

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