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The Economic Impact of the ‘Pink Tax’ in Canada

26 January 2024 | Anjelyn Thomas 

Readers Note: This article explains how the ‘Pink Tax’ impacts the economy, discussing the purpose of the ‘Pink Tax’ and how it affects Canada’s economy. The ‘Pink Tax’ is a worldwide phenomenon but this article is focused on Canada. 

“The ‘Pink Tax’ shines a light on the obstacles women face when it comes to managing their money”, said Shannon Lee Simmons, a personal finance expert. Change in the economy and financial stability is a big aspect of anyone’s life, and to truly understand the depth and impact of the pink tax on Canada’s economy, we have to understand its history. The ‘Pink Tax’ is when goods or services are more expensive when they are advertised toward women rather than men. The ‘Pink Tax’ is not a standard tax like income or sales tax,  Researchers have recognized these instances since the 1990s. However, in 2015, in New York City the Department of Consumers Affairs (DCA) found many instances of gender pricing when they investigated 794 products sold to customers in NYC, some of the products are, razors, soap, shampoo, hair care products, toys, etc. 

The ‘Pink Tax’ has existed in Canada since the 1990s, but over the years the economic state of Canada has changed. Canada’s economy is one of the largest in the world but, the cost of living in Canada continues to increase. Since the pandemic in 2020, the prices of food, gas, utilities and basic living essentials have drastically increased even though the inflation rate has decreased from 3.8% to 3.1% in 2023. The cost of living in Canada is exceptionally high and has been an ongoing problem, especially for young adolescents for the past few years. With high inflation rates and costs of living,  women who choose to or have to purchase products that are advertised toward females have a greater financial disadvantage due to the ‘Pink Tax’. An economy is designed to change over time whether it is a good or bad change. This change is not only based on the country but what is happening in other countries and this is due to import (goods or services that are brought into the country) and export (goods or services that are sent to other countries) services. 

The ‘Pink Tax’ forces women to spend a significantly greater amount as opposed to men for the same or similar products, but we also have to consider feminine hygiene products, and how the demand for these products will maintain or increase because it is a necessity. If the demand remains roughly the same then the supply will also follow the same pattern, as a result, the company will continue making a profit because there is no other way to get around this “tax”. 


In conclusion, the 'Pink Tax' is a financial challenge for women, making them pay more for everyday items just because they're marketed towards females. This extra cost affects their budgets and contributes to gender-based economic inequality. From personal care products to clothes, the ‘Pink Tax’ adds up, making it harder for women to manage their money. The solution to this biased injustice is not simply about saving money. Rather we must work towards an equal economic system, through educating the public and bringing a voice to this matter. 

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