Observing International Women’s Day and Addressing the Pink Tax

16th March, 2024
Observing International Women’s Day and Addressing the Pink Tax

While many are aware of the glaring discrepancies in pricing, such as the exorbitant costs women face in hair styling compared to men, the issue extends far beyond these obvious examples. From Gillette razors to Nivea Roll-On deodorants, women consistently pay more for products of the same size as their male counterparts.

On International Women’s Day just over a week ago, discussions centered around bridging the gender gap in pay and employment ratios. Surprisingly, pricing differentials remained largely unaddressed.

However, when advertising professional Sanjay Arora highlighted this issue in a recent video, he quickly gained recognition as an internet influencer. His revelation drew attention from media outlets both locally and internationally, with even a Spanish TV crew reaching out to cover the story.

Arora coined the term ‘pink tax’ to describe the significant disparity in pricing between products and services for men and women. This disparity, symbolized by the color pink, has left many consumers feeling frustrated and undervalued.

Arora’s awakening to the pink tax came through his daughter, underscoring the importance of listening to younger generations. His investigation revealed stark differences in pricing, with him identifying six products within five minutes at a friend’s department store.

From hair styling to everyday essentials like Nivea lip balm, women consistently face higher prices. For instance, a Nivea lip balm for women costs 51.5 percent more than the same-sized product marketed to men.

Even seemingly basic items like white t-shirts come with a hefty premium for women, as evidenced by a 50 percent price difference at H&M.

The video gained significant traction after being shared by prominent figure Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on X (formerly Twitter). As a result, Arora has been inundated with requests to investigate pricing discrepancies in other areas, including potential biases against men (dubbed ‘blue tax’) and children’s products, where pricing often reflects ‘pester tax’ rather than fair market value.