Women not only earn less, but we also end up paying more for the same products than men.
The other day I wandered into a supermarket and picked up a can of deodorant. As I went to move onto the next aisle though, another deodorant caught my eye. It looked like the deodorant I had in my hand, it smelt like the deodorant I had in my hand, only it was 10c cheaper. Naturally, I opted for the cheaper can (hey, 10c is 10c) and it wasn't until I reached the till did I realise the reason for the price difference: it was a men's deodorant.
This, my friends, is the 'pink tax' – in which, as a female consumer, you are no doubt already well acquainted with. It's not a literal tax imposed by the government. Instead, it is the extra cash that women spend each month to deal with a) the fact that products marketed toward women usually cost more, b) the expectation they may feel to spend on products and services in order to look a certain way, and c) the fact that we're still paying tax on those 'luxury items' known as pads and tampons.
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While ‘Pink Tax’ is nothing new, the difference in pricing is very significant. For example, when I took it upon myself to compare the prices of an item synonymous with pink tax, razors, across one large Irish supermarket chain, one international supermarket and one store from a chain of popular pharmacies, I discovered that on average, women pay an extra 78% (I got an accountant to do the numbers) for razors - on the basis that they’re pink.
No, sadly I'm not making that up. More than double the price for a colour change? It even sounds ridiculous. To prove that this is sadly not a one-time phenomenon, I scoured the aisles both physically and virtually to find other strange instances of a pink tax being imposed on seemingly gender-neutral products.
Comparing the prices of deodorant across one large Irish supermarket chain, one international supermarket and a chain of pharmacies, we discovered that on average, women pay an extra 35% for body wash.
Levi's 501 jeans for women are 10% more expensive than the men's version – even pairs which have the same leg and waist length.
Comparing the prices of deodorant across one large Irish supermarket chain, one international supermarket and a chain of pharmacies, we discovered that on average, women pay an extra 10% for deodorant.
While it may seem unsurprising that a women’s daily moisturisers is 59% more expensive than a man’s due to the extra ingredients women ‘need’ in their skincare products, Naomi Mackle from The Adare clinic tells us that the only real difference between female and male skin is that “men have much more oily, thicker skin than women.”
And it’s not just physical items women pay, on average, an additional 13% for, the pink tax depressingly applies to services too:
A study by the University of Central Florida found that only 15 per cent of randomly selected hair salons charge the same prices for equivalent services for men and women.
Dry-cleaning a blouse costs, on average, €1.80 more than the cost of cleaning a men's shirt.
Main image by @camillecharriere on Instagram