By- Ranisha Agrawal
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Ranisha Agrawal


PINK TAX | We women pay extra from our pockets


The pink tax refers to the intangible cost that women must pay for products designed and sold specifically for them, while generic drugs or male equivalents of the same products can be purchased at lower prices. This phenomenon is not limited to New York or first-world countries. In India, women are also required to pay pink tax on various goods and services sold specifically for them.

The pink tax isn't a myth but a reality as “ Women earn less but pay more”

History of pink tax?

 California began investigating the problem by the early 1990s at the latest. A 1996 report by the State Assembly Office of Investigation found that 64 percent of stores in five major California cities charged a higher price for washing and cleaning a woman's blouse compared to a man's shirt. 

This is a practice prevalent in India too.

These habits were supporting the culture of gender discrimination, and based on such results  California passed the 1995 statewide gender tax repeal that Partly states that "no establishment of any kind may discriminate against any person because of the person's sex in terms of the price of services of a similar or similar nature. 

Three years later, a  national bill was submitted to Congress for the Pink Tax which was reintroduced in  2019, but no official action has been taken yet.

Why should the pink tax be abolished?

Pink Tax  in India - Indian practices 

  • A survey found that up to 67 adults in India hadn't even heard of the Pink Tax.
  • A study showed that a men's razor costs 180 rupees, but its pink version for women costs 250 rupees, a surprising difference of 70 rupees for a change in product color. The shirt costs 305 rupees for men and 359 rupees for women on average.
  •  The first time this gender price was published in India was the movement against the 12-14% GST that applies to the United States. Tabu sanitary napkins and other feminine hygiene products. While contraceptives remain tax-exempt and are considered essential goods, a "tampon tax" was imposed on feminine hygiene products because they were viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity. This sparked widespread protests on social media. especially Twitter, under the campaign name #LahuKaLagaan, which means "blood tax".

Reason for higher prices?

  1. Specific market segments - To differentiate one product from others and target specific market segments, manufacturers often attribute the rise in product prices for women to product differentiation and higher packaging costs. 
  2. Tapping trends -Women audience for shopping is quite huge when it comes to  changing trends which are influenced by the marketers by turning to package aesthetics, changing product color schemes, and even highlighting the power supplies in various ways
  3. Increased production costs - Extra highlights can increase production costs due to the lack of economies of scale in the manufacture of those specific products. 
  4. Modern Lifestyle practices- The uncertainties that women bring with them in assessing their appearance and lifestyle add to this gender price and enable companies to claim large sums of money from women who hope to achieve unattainable social standards through the use of these companies' products.

 What can we do now?

  1. Raising awareness - more than half of the people are not aware of the pink tax. To counter this situation, we need to take stock of the situation and particular emphasis should be placed on raising awareness and informing each other about the Pink Tax. 
  2. Social media weapon - In today's digital era social media can be an exponential way to reach out to the masses. Exposing the ways in which consumers of these products are being exploited in the country when there is an urgent need for us to educate women and recruit to be the future representatives of this country.
  3. Increase in Political leadership -  It would also be of great importance to address inequality in the workplace and to regulate it by law, by taking greater roles in the active political leadership position in our democratic country.

We all need to move forward as a community and work to build a colorful society where each color has its own beautiful place. Let's enjoy the pink the way it was intended, not in a form where it caused us to pay more.

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