Jack Gillis: Repeal the Pink Tax on Women

Washington, D.C. April 3, 2019 — My name is Jack Gillis, and I am the Executive Director of Consumer Federation of America.  CFA is an association of over 250 national, state and local non-profit consumer organizations established in 1968 to protect consumers and advance the consumer interest.

Today we are pleased to endorse the Pink Tax Repeal Act proposed by Congresswoman Jackie Speier, which would prohibit differential pricing of consumer products and services based solely on gender. Why should a pink baby walker cost 32 percent more than an identical one that’s blue? Or pink kids’ sneakers be priced 62 percent higher than the same sneakers in black?

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Why should women, already discriminated against in the labor market with lower wages, pay more than men for similar items?  If anything, because women get paid less, women should pay less!

A 2015 study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, one of CFA’s members, documented that gender price discrimination exists in a wide variety of consumer goods, from clothing to personal care products.  This is essentially a gender tax levied on women that adds up to thousands of dollars over the course of their lives. The department compared nearly 800 products with clear male and female versions from more than 90 brands.  They found that in all but 5 of the 35 product categories analyzed, items for female consumers were priced higher than the same items for male consumers.

And this discrimination is ever-present throughout a woman’s life—from early childhood when pink clothes and toys cost more to personal care products and even to items needed by senior woman.  The pink tax effects women from cradle to grave and must be repealed.

I’ve brought along my pink tie, which cost me the same as the red tie I’m wearing.  Just imagine the outrage among the men in Congress if they had to pay more for this pink tie than their standard red and blue ties!

So, thank you Congresswoman Speier for introducing the repeal of this discriminatory, unfair, and unkind tax on American women.  You led the effort to outlaw gender price discrimination in California and we support you in this critically important national effort.

We call upon your colleagues in both houses of Congress to support you in this effort.  It’s time for the US Congress to do the right thing and Repeal the Pink Tax.

The Consumer Federation of America is a national organization of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.

1 COMMENT

  1. While I am a staunch Capitalist, I find myself agreeing with this argument. The idea that women want to pay more for a product that is equal in purpose and manufacturing cost is preposterous. In regards to Women’s health and their monthly cycle, why are tampons put into the same category as products that both men and women can use? I don’t see men at any time using tampons. These are as necessary as food and should be categorized as such, TAX FREE. Are we that hard up for taxes that a Women’s monthly has to pay for our new roads, etc? Let’s come to a bipartisan agreement that we at least reform this ridiculous tax. Spoken by a women who has 3 daughters.

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