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HBJ Fights Pink Tax

SB 320 Will Ban Gender Price Discrimination

Photo: Paul Wellman/File Photo State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

It is approximately $1,351 more expensive a year to be a woman than a man, found a 1994 study. The discrepancy is due to higher pricing of women’s goods and services. The price disparities between the same men and women’s products is also referred to as a “gender tax” and is illustrated in products such as razors which are priced higher for women than men despite being the same product. More recently, in 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) conducted a study looking at various categories and found on average women are charged 7 percent more for the same services and products. Pricing incongruities begin at birth with childrens’ toys and clothing and follow women throughout their lives and into old age with senior products also falling prey to the “pink tax.”  

California Senator Hannah Beth Jackson introduced legislation in February in an attempt to curtail gender inequality by repealing the gender tax. Senate Bill 320, introduced in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, would prohibit businesses from charging women or men more for the same product. While women carry the larger burden by paying more for products 42 percent of the time, men are also affected and pay more for products 18 percent of the time. Women are most affected by hygiene products which on an average have a 13 percent higher price for women.  “Products’ price differences based on gender are largely inescapable for female consumers simply due to the product offerings available in the market,” concludes the DCA.

While women are being overcharged for goods, they are being underpaid for their work. Women make an average of 80 cents for every dollar a man makes in the same exact position. Pay discrepancies are even worse for women of color. The DCA encourages consumers to join their social media campaign with #genderpricing.

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