You may have heard the term ‘pink tax’ floating around the past year. This is a legitimate tax imposed on female products because they are used by women. It doesn’t matter that they might have the exact same function as a male product, such as shaving foam, women are expected to pay extra for certain personal hygiene products, clothes, and dry cleaning, the mere difference being that the product packaging might be pink. Predictable, but nonetheless, enraging.
There have been surveys done, videos made to prove the difference and we did our own research: last year our Lauren Heskin went around to three Irish shops to compare the price gap between male and female personal hygiene products – they are usually are a fifth more expensive for women than for men, before any menstrual necessities are considered – and the difference was striking. Razors alone were 78% more expensive for women.
That’s why we rejoiced when we heard the news that after some campaigning Tesco has vowed to cut their price of women’s razors both in Ireland and the UK so they cost the same as men’s. They were originally almost double the price.
A representative of Tesco Ireland confirmed the reduced price roll-out in stores here. “I confirm that Tesco Ireland has undertaken a price review of the twin blade razors for women. This product price has been reduced to 60c per pack and this has come into effect in stores.”
And while this is a small, but prominent step for women in the beauty grooming department, plenty more needs to be done before we’re on equal ground: Research from The Times last year found that the disparities go well beyond hygiene products. They found that, for example, Levi’s 501 jeans are 46% more expensive than the men’s version, even those that have the same leg and waist length. French pen maker BIC charges a pound extra for its “for her” ballpoints. The only difference between the men and women’s ranges is that the women’s pens come in pastel colours while the male version is black.
So, while we’re happy saving a few euros on razors, we’d like to see a genuine end to the sexist pricing right across the board.