Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, reintroduced the Pink Tax Repeal Act, a bipartisan bill that seeks to end gender discrimination in the pricing of goods and services. Her legislation prohibits the sale of substantially similar goods or services that are priced differently based on gender, allows the Federal Trade Commission to enforce violations, and ensures that State Attorneys General have the authority to take civil action on behalf of consumers wronged by discriminatory practices. The bill has 48 cosponsors, including Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Tom Reed.
“The pink tax is blatantly discriminatory, affecting women from all walks of life from the cradle to the grave,” Rep. Speier said. “A 1994 California Assembly Office of Research study found that women pay a ‘gender tax’ of $1,351 each year for the same services as men. In 2015, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs conducted a study that found women’s products cost up to 13 percent more than similar products for men. With women still earning only 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, and women of color facing even harsher pay inequities, the monetary losses from this gender tax are far worse than the raw data suggests and, in some cases, can extend into the millions of dollars over a woman’s lifetime. It’s time to end this un-American practice that has hobbled women and their families financially for generations with the passage of the bipartisan Pink Tax Repeal Act.”
In California, gender-based pricing of consumer services, such as haircuts and dry cleaning, have been illegal since 1996. That’s when Rep. Speier’s bill, the Gender Tax Repeal Act, became state law. She took her fight to the federal level as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, after the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs published its study on the gender-pricing of goods marketed to both men and women. The study compared nearly 800 similar products from more than 90 brands sold at two dozen retailers, both online and in stores, and found that in all but 5 of the 35 product categories analyzed, products for female consumers were priced higher than those for male consumers. Click here to view the complete study.
The legislation is endorsed by Consumer Reports, Consumer Federation of America, and the National Women's Law Center.
Comments from supporting organizations are listed below:
“Equality is something that’s very important to all of us at Boxed, and that is why we decided to take a stand and lower our prices on women’s products that had a significant cost variance versus their male equivalents – even if this meant taking a hit on margin,” said Nitasha Mehta, Sr. Director of CPG Brand Partnerships for Boxed. “Congresswoman Speier’s Pink Tax Repeal Act is so critical for holding manufacturers accountable and for changing discriminatory pricing once and for all.”
“There is no reason why men and women should pay different prices for essentially the same products or services,” said Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy at Consumer Federation of America. “This unfair practice should be stopped. The Pink Tax Repeal Act is a critical step in thwarting this unfair practice.”
“The Pink Tax Repeal Act is an important step towards ending gender discriminatory pricing and promoting the economic security of women,” said Emily Martin, Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center. “Women and the families they support can’t afford to be shortchanged by discrimination. Women’s wallets already take a hit when they receive smaller paychecks due to the gender wage gap. On top of this, women pay a ‘gender tax’ when they are charged more than men for the same goods and services. It’s time for these unfair practices to end.”
“Charging women more for products that are virtually identical to those sold to men at lower prices is discrimination plain and simple,” said Anna Laitin, Director of Financial Fairness for Consumer Reports. “The Pink Tax Repeal Act restores some fairness to the marketplace by putting an end to this absurd practice.”
The Pink Tax Repeal Act is cosponsored by: Reps. Jackie Speier, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Joyce Beatty, Suzanne Bonamici, Julia Brownley, Cheri Bustos, André Carson, Kathy Castor, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Madeleine Dean, Debbie Dingell, Dwight Evans, Brian Fitzpatrick, Lois Frankel, Jesus Garcia, Raúl M. Grijalva, Josh Harder, Alcee L. Hastings, Jahana Hayes, Pramila Jayapal, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Robin Kelly, Dan Kildee, Brenda L. Lawrence, Al Lawson, Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ted W. Lieu, Alan Lowenthal, Carolyn B. Maloney, James P. McGovern, Grace Meng, Gwen Moore, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Mark Pocan, Jamie Raskin, Tom Reed, Tim Ryan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Albio Sires, Darren Soto, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, and Nydia M. Velázquez.
A copy of the bill text is attached to this press release below.
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