Pink Tax In Thailand: Are Women Paying More for the Same Products?
What is Pink Tax?
The pink tax is not an official tax imposed by the government, but rather a phenomenon where products marketed towards or designed for females, often in pink packaging or colours, are priced higher despite having similar ingredients or features as comparable products marketed towards males.
In simple terms, pink tax can make women pay more for the same products than men!
Some people may include tampon tax as a pink tax. However, in this article, we will focus more on the prices of products for women that have a similar comparison with products made for men (e.g., shampoo, clothes, razors, etc.)
Pink Tax: Statistics in the United States
In 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a survey to compare the prices of 794 products made for males and females.1
Did you know that in New York, women often need to spend 7% extra for goods made with the same ingredients as men?
Furthermore, women pay 13% more for personal care products than men. So, the price difference is even more prominent when it comes to personal care products.
Similarly, in 2022, The Balance conducted a survey of 128 products through online shopping platforms to to determine whether the pink tax still exists today.2
They surveyed the prices of personal care products, ranging from shampoo to razors and discovered that women still pay 12.69% more than men for personal care products, which does not show a significant change compared to the 2015 survey (13%).
Consequently, despite the fact that gender equality has been consistently promoted over the past few years, the pink tax still exists.
Pink Tax Examples Around the World
The pink tax is not only a concern in the US but also in other countries. For example, in the UK, some female razors may cost 6.28% more than male razors. Likewise, a 50ml moisturiser for women could be 34.28% more expensive.3
Similar scenarios have happened in many other countries.
In India, a typical razor for women is ₹250, while men pay ₹70 for a razor.4
In Australia, women may pay 29% more for razors, 16% more for body wash, and 12% more for underwear.5
In Nigeria, prices for razors, shampoos, conditioners, and moisturisers for women are also reported as higher.6
Some might believe "pink tax" is a new term people just realised recently. In fact, this issue has been noticed since 1995 by Gov. Pete Wilson. During that time, the “pink tax” was recognised as a “gender tax”.7
As you can see, not only is the pink tax a severe and often overlooked globally, but it is also persisting evidence of gender discrimination.
Why Pink Tax Exists
The issue could stem from the assumption that women are willing to pay more for the items they need, resulting in a price that shows gender-based discrimination.
In some cases, similar products marketed to women are labelled “premium” to add a luxurious feeling and cost to the product.
This may not be the only reason why female products are more expensive than male counterparts. Unexpectedly, tariffs reported by the Mosbacher Institute in 2015 in the United States also showed some inequalities.8
It is true that for some products, like swimwear and cotton shirts, the tariff for importing products for males may be higher. Meanwhile, tariff rates for many of the feminine products were higher as well—for example, blazers, silk shirts, and footwear.
To be more precise, on average, the tax on imported clothes for men is around 11.9%, while it is 15.1% for females.
In a nutshell, pink taxes are a result of gender-based discrimination and tariff differences.
Exploring Pink Tax in Thailand
As DeeMoney is based in Thailand, we are also curious if pink tax exists here in Thailand or not.
We examined personal care product prices in Thailand by comparing products from the same brand (one made for men and one made for women), as inspired by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs' 2015 research and The Balance's 2022 survey.
The result of Thailand's pink tax survey can be seen in the table below.
Like many other countries, pink tax is also an unspoken concern in Thailand!
In general, products marketed for women in Thailand cost 14.80% more than those marketed for men, except for body wash, in which male and female products prices are the same, and deodorant, in which men seem to pay a higher price.
Breakdown of Pink Tax in Thai Personal Care Products
Women pay 34.77% more for hair products than men.
- Women pay 5.48% more for razors than men.
- Women pay 12.91% more for face wash than men.
- Women pay equal price for body wash compared to men.
- Women pay 9.21% less for deodorant than men.
- Women pay 34.64 more for serum than men.
However, it is essential to note that this figure does not represent every product on the Thai market. Also, we have not researched other products such as toys, clothes, and other services (such as hair salons and barbershops) that may have different price differences.
Although some may underestimate the impact of the pink tax, it can be a significant financial burden over time, particularly when factoring in other expenses such as menstrual products and healthcare services.
Why Is this Issue Important?
This issue has been discussed globally as it indicates gender-based discrimination in society. It is problematic because it creates a financial barrier not only for women but, in some cases, for the parents or caregivers of girls and women around the world.
It is especially important to address the issue of the pink tax because there is a general gender wage gap, in which women in the same positions as men are frequently paid less.
The International Labour Organisation stated that, in modern days, women are still getting paid 20% less than men on average.9 This also happens in developed countries like the United States, where women earn only $0.82 for every $1 a man makes.10
To promote gender equality and address the issue of women being paid less, it is important to create awareness about the pink tax and take steps to ensure that women are not financially burdened by avoidable expenses.
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1 From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer
2'Pink Tax' Pushes Prices Up Nearly 13%, Study Shows
3Pink Tax today: How much extra do women and girls pay for everyday essentials?
4What Is Pink Tax And How Does It Contribute To Increasing Gender Bias?
5Research reveals blatant ‘gender tax’ added to Aussie staples
6Pink Tax: African women spend an unfairly high amount on lifestyle products compared to men
7State Bans Gender Bias in Service Pricing
8Fairer Trade Removing Gender Bias in US Import Taxes
9Pay transparency can address the gender pay gap