The “Pink Tax” is a term used to draw attention to the price difference between female-targeted products and gender-neutral products or goods produced for men. The name references the colour pink and its use when marketing to women. Studies conducted over the last few years have found that women pay higher prices for comparable products for men. In the case of razors and shampoos, women typically pay 6-7% more. Some manufacturers respond by saying the price difference is due to the higher costs associated with marketing to women. Others point out that women’s products can have design features and/or additives not found in similar men’s items. That doesn’t explain why one store was selling pink earplugs for $1.30 more per package than blue earplugs. Another example found a pink scooter retailing for $20.00 more than the exact model painted in red.
The price disparity extends beyond toiletries to other goods and services including apparel, toys, dry cleaning and haircuts. According to the CBC, a bill was introduced in Ontario in 2005 to block price discrimination on the basis of gender. “The bill” never made it past the committee stage.