Stop Unfair Gender Tax

Target: Awet Kidane, Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs for California

Goal: Ban price differences among hygiene products aimed towards men versus women.

In most big box stores across the country, such as Target and Walmart and the majority of drugstores like Walgreens, CVS, and, hygienic products that are the same brand have a strong price difference between target genders, with women’s products priced at about 13 percent more than products marketed towards men.

The New York Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a study this month that focused on gender pricing of consumer goods across multiple industries both online and in stores. In this study, they found that women’s products cost more than men’s products 42 percent of the time. One specific example of this is Degree deodorant as sold at the store known as Duane Reade. A stick of deodorant marketed towards men cost $4.39, and the same product marketed towards women was 4 percent smaller and $6.79, which is a 55 percent price differential. Neutrogena face lotion, sold at Target, costs $3.46 per ounce, and the face lotion marketed towards women with the same anti-aging and skin soothing properties cost $3.88 per ounce, which is a 12 percent price differential.

The state of California has a better average for the gender wage gap than the nation, with every woman in California earning 84 cents for every dollar earned by men. However, that still leaves a 16 percent gap, which makes the average price hike of 13 percent for hygienic products advertised for women over those advertised for men even more unfair. Some hygienic products do have different active ingredients, which could attribute to a slight difference in prices. However, for products like Aussie shampoo, Gillette shaving cream, or Neutrogena face lotion with almost identical ingredients, it is unfair to sell these at different prices.

By signing the petition below, you will help urge the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs of the state of California to ban price differences between hygiene products marketed towards men versus women.


Dear Director Kidane,

In the state of California, the gender wage gap between men and women in 2015 was 84 percent. The women of California are still earning significantly less than men on average, but personal care products packaged and marketed towards women cost an average of 13 percent more than products of the same brand marketed towards men. These are everyday items such as shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, face lotion, and even soap.

It is unfair to price products differently that have similar ingredients but different packaging. In the case that there is a significant difference in ingredients, it is expected that a company should price their product accordingly, but the majority of hygienic products are priced dependent only on the gender that the item is marketed towards.

The Department of Consumer Affairs in New York conducted a study that found products marketed towards women cost more 42 percent of the time. This is an unfair economic disparity that affects every woman in the state of California.

I am urging you to ban unfair gender price differences on personal care products in California. Please take actions to enforce policies that encourage gender equality in the marketing and sale of hygienic products.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Martin Roell

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