By Mariana Morales

We must have probably heard this term before, but what does it mean, and how does it affect our daily life? 

The name “Pink Tax” comes from the fact that products for women are more expensive than those for men, and said products are usually colored in pink. It isn’t actually a tax, but rather a discriminatory pricing practice based on gender.

This applies to any type of products marketed to women separately from men, such as shampoos, creams, razors. The general products can be used the exact same for both men and women, but those branded toward women are more expensive. I have personally bought razors for “men” (green, or blue) because they are cheaper than the exact same razor colored pink with a smiling lady on the packaging.

This is something that exists worldwide, but there have been no official complaints in Austria so far since it is difficult to prove that the price difference is not justified in terms of content and that women are not forced to buy “pink”.

However, this can also be applied to feminine hygiene products like tampons, pads, or menstrual cops which, we are kinda forced to buy, and are subject to VAT as objects of economic transport in all EU Member States. In France, for example, said tax was reduced to 5.5% seven years ago, while in Austria it goes all the way up to 20%.

Let’s put this into comparison: 

Staple foods, books, and passenger transport are charged at a reduced tax rate of 10%.

Animals, plants, and wine are taxed with 13%.

All products with 20%, count as luxury. 

According to the Austrian Tax Act, feminine hygiene products are at the same luxury level as champagne and lobster. Excuse me???

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for this situation. We can only advise you to buy the best products that fit your goals and values, but you can start shopping for gender-neutral products or those targeted toward men. This solution won’t work for everyone, but it can help you avoid overpriced “female” products.

The Pink Tax will only truly end once we call out all the brands and companies that still function under this gender-discrimination pricing.

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