~ Saumya Chawla
Women have been fighting for their rights since decades varying from voting rights, equal pay, maternity leaves so hence and so forth. But one vital thing that goes unnoticed is pink tax. Pink as the color which symbolizes childhood, love, kindness and the feminism. In this case, Pink tax is not any sort of tax that is imposed by the government but it is a gender discriminatory price gap that exists on the similar products of equal necessity for men and women.
Women are charged more on the products of necessity than men and this difference can be very evidently noticed in the market. A men’s razor that can costs around Rs.170 while women’s razor costs around Rs.300 though they both have the same utility but the price is double for women as compared to men. Same goes for services too men’s haircut from a salon costs around Rs.300-500 but that of women costs around Rs.600-1500.
The reason for this parity is the basic marketing strategy by the name SHRINK IT AND PINK IT. This strategy implies that a company if takes the basic version of a generalized good that is made for everyone , they can market the same good towards women just by making it smaller in size and pink in color and by doing such changes the women are expected to pay more for these goods. Corporate businesses see woman not as a customer but as a profit making machine and hence charge them twice for goods as men.
In The United States Of America, the Pink Tax Repeal Act was passed in the year 2019 which put an end to this gender discriminative tax there. Their leader Jackie Speier was the one woman who addressed this issue of pink tax and took it very seriously. She said that “The pink tax is not a one time injustice . It is an insidious form of institutionalized discrimination that affects women all over from cradle to grave”.
In India, the gravity of the situation is a grave concern because there is barely any awareness about this price discrepancy that exists in the society setting up an example of unjust and unequal nation. A survey was conducted on the same which revealed that 67% of the adults in India had never even heard of something like Pink Tax. It was only in 2018 that some people paid attention to such inequality where the women had to pay 12-14% GST that was levied on sanitary napkins and other sanitary products like tampons. The movement was called the “tampon tax” and a major taboo was being removed from the country as sanitary napkins or tampons is not a luxury but a necessity which the government addressed well. Especially in a developing nation like India where women are still fighting for their rights and are not even paid equally to men for the same job at the same level, this pink tax just adds on to the burden. This directly means that women are underpaid and are required to overpay as well, which is a great deal of injustice.
The one way in which we can fight against the pink tax is to spread awareness. More the people are aware, more they can pressurize the government to work towards removing this parity. Women if they find such products at the store they should boycott buying them and rather should choose other options over them, maybe a gender neutral product, unisex products if available or if the women product costs you more use men’s product if they both have the same utility and solve the same purpose. This stereotypical femininity should be avoided as much as it can as it will help curb the injustice and will be pocket friendly to the women of the nation. The companies like boxed, snowe etc. which are taking initiatives standing against pink tax and selling products without any discrimination should be encouraged and budding entrepreneurs should learn and support such causes. By following these we can do our bit in the fight against pink tax because discrimination to pay more just because you belong to a specific gender should be stopped.