What Is Being Done About the “Pink Tax” in California?

In 2018, California Democratic Congresswomen Jackie Speier introduced the Pink Tax Repeal Act. The Pink Tax is a tax difference between female-specific and male-specific products. Female-specific products such as razors, tampons, pads, girl’s toys, and women’s clothing are just some of the products that are priced higher than men’s products.

One major product that is taxed—and has been a controversial topic in women’s health rights, is the tax on feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads. They are considered “luxury items,” costing between $7-$9. However, tampons and pads are not luxury items. They are basic rights for all women, keeping sanitary health conditions for women while they are menstruating.

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According to The Hill, the Pink Tax would allow, “the Federal Trade Commission to enforce violations and gives State Attorneys General the authority to take civil action on behalf of consumers wronged by discriminatory practices."

Representative Jackie Speier reveals, “Women get hit with a double whammy: They make less for doing the same work and they pay more for the same product or service because it’s for women. Whether it’s a pink teddy bear, deodorant from the same manufacturer, or a white laundered shirt, it’s time to say enough! Discrimination is illegal.” 2018 isn’t the first time that the Pink Tax Repeal Act has been introduced. It was first presented in 2016, but it failed to pass.

Emily Martin, General Counsel and Vice President for Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center, agrees that the Pink Tax Repeal Act is necessary for women rights, “Women and the families they support can’t afford to be shortchanged by discrimination. Women’s wallets already take a hit when they receive smaller paychecks due to the gender wage gap. On top of this, women pay a ‘gender tax’ when they are charged more than men for the same goods and services. It’s time for these unfair practices to end.”

After the Pink Tax Repeal Act was first introduced in 2016, The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs released a study that compared the price of over 800 items to compare the price differences between female and male products among several categories. The study revealed that overall, the price of girl’s toys in comparison to boy’s toys costs 7% more, women’s clothing costs 8% more, and women’s personal care products costs 13% more.

As of now, there is no update on whether to Pink Tax Repeal Act has been passed or not. If the Pink Tax Repeal Act is passed, it will be a big step for women in achieving equal rights. 

If you agree that pricing products differently based on gender is discriminatory and shouldn't be allowed, make sure to contact your Congressional Representative and advise them to support the Pink Tax Repeal Act.

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