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What is Pink Tax?

  • Apr 18, 2024

"Pink tax" refers to the price differential between products marketed towards women and those oriented toward men. You don't have to pay the government an official tax or anything similar. Instead, it's more akin to an additional expense that women frequently incur just because they purchase something tailored to them. This implies that women may have to pay more for the identical item that men purchase for less. Let’s understand what is pink tax.

Understanding the Concept of Pink Tax

The pink tax, in reality, is not a governmental tax. Instead, it describes pricier goods and services advertised to women and less expensive alternatives for males. Though there is much discussion about the pink tax, the main issue is whether or not women are compelled to pay the higher prices or are just willing to.

The pink tax's critics contend that it constitutes pricing discrimination and must be opposed to fair tax planning. By making women pay more significant costs, they feel that corporations unfairly burden them. On the other hand, some of these price variations can be attributed to the free market. The cost of producing an item determines its price; thus, if certain women's products are more expensive to develop, the higher pricing makes sense. They contend that price increases may also reflect consumer demand.

In response to this argument, detractors point out that shops and companies make it impossible to avoid these expenditures, particularly when breaking gender norms has social repercussions. The latter group claims that personal preference is still reflected in this.

Example of Pink Tax

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), products promoted towards women may cost more than those marketed towards men. Products like clothing, shoes, and cosmetics marketed and created only for women frequently have higher prices. For example, those marketed towards women and packaged in pink could cost more than those with a neutral color scheme. Examples are the perfumes and razors used by women.

This imbalance is not limited to a pink tax on goods; it can also apply to services. For example, a woman's haircut is typically 60% more expensive than a man's. There are occasionally justifications for this pricing discrepancy. Consider haircuts as an example. The conventional rationale is that since women's hair is usually longer, there is more hair to trim and style. In addition, more attention to sanitation is required, and women's hair may require different training for styling.

Some other examples include:

1. Higher costs for women's clothing tailoring or dry cleaning

2. Compared to similar personal hygiene items made for males, women's razors, shampoo, and deodorant are typically more expensive and come in smaller sizes.

3. Compared to similar red or blue bikes, scooters, and helmets, pink cycles, helmets, and other girl-oriented toys and gear are more costly.

Also Read about How Gains from Intraday Trading Are Taxed?

How can you Avoid the Pink Tax?

1. Be a wise consumer. Know the pink tax meaning. If you believe a less expensive blue version of the product can accomplish the same task, you don't have to choose pink things.

2. Women's specific shampoos, conditioners, and creams are more expensive due to their flashy packaging and alluring scents. Consider whether you truly need such scents or if a regular, less expensive shampoo will suffice.

3. Set a target for the upcoming shopping trip. In this way, not even your cravings will allow you to spend additional money on pointless purchases.

4. Inform as many people as possible about the Pink Tax.

How India is Fighting Pink Tax?

Up to 67% of Indian citizens, according to a survey, had never heard about the history of pink tax. The general public first became aware of this gendered pricing when they began campaigning against the 12–14% GST imposed on forbidden feminine hygiene products like sanitary napkins and other products for women's use in India.  [viii] Because contraceptives were considered luxuries rather than necessities, they were subject to a "tampon tax," even though they were still free from taxes and were considered essential products. That led to a deluge of protests on social media.

After obtaining more than 4,00,000 signatures on online petitions opposing it from activists, celebrities, politicians, and entertainers, the government removed this "tampon tax" in 2018. Despite some awareness raised by the "tampon tax" campaign in India, the pink tax remains primarily hidden in the marketplace and is regarded as an unthinking social norm. Numerous international social media campaigns, such as #GenderPricing and #AxThePinkTax, have drawn some attention, but overall, their influence still needs to be improved.


The pink tax doesn't exist for a single reason. It exists, in part, because some women's products have greater production costs. For instance, additional expenses may be associated with importing goods that the customer bears. On the other hand, some contend that the pink tax is a structural problem, with merchants and manufacturers routinely charging more for women's clothing because they believe that women will still purchase it.

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by Team Sharekhan

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