Pink Tax-Travel-With-Jane-reduced

WTF Is The Pink Tax Costing Your Toiletry Bag?

25 March 2016

From shaving cream to shampoo and deodorant, the ‘pink tax’ is draining your toiletries budget without you even knowing about it.

And when we consider the fact that Australian women already earn 18.8% less than our male counterparts, being asked to pay more at the shops for health and beauty products feels like a kick in the proverbials.

Women are already paid significantly less than men, so what’s with charging us a hidden ‘pink tax’ at the check-out on deodorant, shampoo and razors? Let alone that ridiculous tampon tax, (but let’s not go there right now.)

This time last year, activist group GetUp launched a campaign to out perpetrators of the gender price gap or  ‘pink tax’ – a pervasive grocery store pricing tactic where women are charged more than men for similar products just because they are sold in feminine packaging, and often in ‘cute’ smaller sizes.

The reasoning goes that if you ‘shrink it and pink’ it, the product has incurred additional value that justifies price increases anywhere from a couple of cents up to a couple of dollars when compared with the ‘blue’ version. The disparity gets even more extreme with ‘travel minis’ – comparatively higher-priced mini products and travel Janes marketed squarely at women who love the convenience of packing light.

To show the world just how real this is, GetUp encouraged the internet to share examples of the pink tax, with the most outlandish examples published on their campaign tumblr ‘The Gender Price Gap‘.

From clothing to razors, dry-cleaning, perfume, haircuts, socks and hair removal products, the real-life examples snapped by citizen-journalists showed that women are being asked to fork out more in almost every retail category.

The sneakiest examples were found in the health and beauty aisle, with big brands in major grocery stores charging more for ‘pink’ products across the board.

Over in the States, a recent New York City Department of Consumer Affairs study showed that from the ‘cradle to the cane’, women pay on average 7% more than men for equivalent products. The study also found that 42% of the time, women’s products cost more than equivalent men’s products.

Take shampoos as an example. The  study found that haircare products for women cost on average 48% more than the same items meant for men. It found that female razors are 11% more expensive than men’s. Jeans cost 10% more. Even toys marketed to little girls are 11% pricier compared to those for boys Unsurprisingly, women are less than pleased, with a fresh call for fair pricing, along with calls to boycott the guilty brands ringing out from all corners of the globe. With that in mind, we scanned Australia’s health and beauty culprits to put together a travel toiletries shopping un-list that dodges the gender price gap and sticks it to the pink washers.


Image GetUp!

With nearly a dollar difference spotted in Speed Stick‘s deodorant pricing, you’ve be forgiven for thinking women’s B.O. represents a greater challenge than men’s.

In this example shared to GetUp’s tumblr last year, both deos offer 24/7 ‘freshness’, yet the one in the purple pack costs more than the one in the blue pack, gram for gram.

While the manufacturer’s have a think about their grocery store thievery, we’ll be packing our travel toiletry bag with the ‘alpine fresh’ and ‘cool energy’ boy’s versions in lieu of the pricey ‘jasmines’ and ‘lilies of the valley’ in pink and purple.


Image GetUp!

If anything, disposable razors for women should cost less, I mean we’re far less hairy, right? Yet, once again, girls pay more than boys, if only by 1 cent in this example from Gillette. Buying men’s shaving products is a delightful cost-saving strategy for frequent travellers who burn through disposable razors. Ditto for shaving cream, which commonly gets slapped with the same ‘pink tax’.


Image GetUp!

Razors aren’t the only hair removal products subject to the gender price gap. In this example, Veet Hair Removal Cream for women was a fair whack more pricey than the men’s equivalent. Could the contents of the box really be all that different?


Image GetUp!

Unfortunately, that sub-headline was all to easy to write. Both Gucci perfume bottles contain 50ml of scent. Both are an eau de toilette spray. So how come the lady version costs ten bucks more?

No doubt about it, the pink tax stinks. Fingers crossed public pressure will put an end to the practice asap. In the meantime, next time you’re restocking your travel toiletry bag, check out the price difference between women’s and men’s health and beauty brands and see whether you can save a pretty penny for more important things. #Sangria #Sunnies #SavingsAccount

We’re always on the hunt for a fair price. Compare our Travel Insurance  and you’ll see we offer the cover you need without breaking the bank. Or charging a Pink Tax!

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We support women who challenge the gender pay gap

Since Day 1 Travel with Jane has been about levelling the playing field for women in Australia. In 2020, we’re taking the fight global. Stay tuned to learn how you can support the women who tackle the gender divide here and abroad.


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