The Pink Tax

A woman upside down wearing pink headphones

A recent study by the Government Accountability Office discovered that women pay more for certain products than men. This phenomenon is called the Pink Tax, and strangely, it extends through most of the female-specific products on the market. The retail prices for items like deodorants, perfumes, and even shaving cream are much higher for female brands than they are for male brands.

Understanding the Pink Tax

Interestingly, women also paid a relatively higher interest rate on some non-gender specific purchases and transactions like mortgages because they generally have lower credit characteristics. The pink tax is surprising because there is no logical explanation for why women should pay more for relatively the same products as men.

So, what’s the way forward for you as a woman? Should you quit feminine brands and begin buying male brands instead? Certainly not! Female products like perfumes were designed with your unique needs and preferences in mind; imagine walking around smelling like a “manly man.” Unacceptable.

What you can do is to become aware of this discrepancy, and to check out the product categories that actually charge a pink tax and the ones that don’t. Let’s take a short look at each of them, so you know just what you’re paying the next time you pick a product off the shelf.


The items inr this category include personal care items like razors, shampoos, hair conditioners, deodorants, perfumes, and shaving cream. Razors have the highest pink tax, with the female brands costing about 11% more than men’s brands.

What makes this so outrageous is the fact that they are basically the same things. Unlike clothes and deodorants, women and men can use the same razor without any concerns.


Even before the pink tax was discovered in consumer data, women have always known that they paid more for clothes. In fact, they pay more not only in terms of higher retail prices, but they are also encouraged in many western countries to have more clothes than men.

Reports suggest that women may be paying about 15% more for shirts, 13% more for dress shirts, and 10% more for jeans.

Toys and Accessories

Many people believe that the power and responsibility of being a woman begin from childhood. But apparently, so does pink tax. Simple items like toys, bicycles, backpacks, and even bicycle helmets are more expensive for girls than boys. Some toys cost 11% more, helmets cost 13% more, and bikes cost 6% more for girls.

Why Is There a Pink Tax?

One of the defenses for the high prices of these items is the fact that women simply need more care than men. Women’s hair care products need more ingredients, and body care products have to be richer and creamier. The same thing goes for women’s clothes that require more style and attention to detail.

However, the fact remains that pink tax exists, and its influence on retail prices is outrageous. While we wait for reforms to address the issue, one of the things you can do is to purchase non-gender specific items like razors and shampoos. That way, you can circumvent the pink tax altogether.

Don’t wait to get out of debt! Read this: A Complete, Step-By-Step Guide to Get Out of Debt.