Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Slams 'Pink Tax' Discrimination Against Women; What Is It?

Founder of Biocon Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw called out the gender-based pricing discrepancies, called pink tax, urging women to boycott such products.
Women, Pink Tax
Women, Pink Tax

Indian Biopharmaceutical Company Biocon's founder and executive chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, on March 13, 2024, took to social media X calling out the practice of 'Pink Tax'. Pink tax refers to the practice of charging higher prices for products marketed to women compared to similar products for men. Shaw shared a video by Sanjay Arora, who goes by the name 'Dr. Sanjay Arora PhD' on X where he shares a few examples of pink tax. Arora cited examples of how women are often charged higher for products in the same category “of the same size and quantity” as sold to men.

For instance, Arora shows a lip balm priced at Rs 250 for women, while men get it for Rs 165 for the same product of the same size. "A 55 per cent premium," he said. Similarly a "plain razor" came with a 10 per cent premium. He also took an example of an apparel brand where a woman is paying a 50 per cent premium for a T-shirt, and a 100 per cent premium for a haircut. He also claims this price hike is despite women getting paid 14.8 per cent less in wages for the same job a man does.

"Gender-based price disparities are prevalent in several sectors, but one of the most visible is personal care products. These include, for example, soaps, lotions, razor blades and deodorants that are marketed specifically to either women or men," Word Economic Forum says.

Social Media Response

The post was shared early on Wednesday morning and amassed over 3 lakh views by evening. Few X users supported the entrepreneur's stand while the majority commented that people should shun these women's products and buy the men's variant.

One user said, "Actually cos are charging and earning profit. Why call it a tax? Just to absolve the companies? And if both products are the same in ingredients and effect why buy those ping products?."

Another user also defended this view saying, "This has been written to death about 7 years back & is a known pricing trick. Surprised you are talking about the ‘pink tax’ now!"

Another user defended the entrepreneur's stand saying, "Go ahead and buy men's products. Nobody's stopping anybody. There are differences in ingredients, texture, and design between male and female-centric products. They aren't the same. Read the product description before buying. Ladies are very particular about how their products feel."

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