Congresswoman Speier introduces bill against 'pink tax'

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Does it cost more to be a woman? Bay Area U.S. Representative Jackie Speier says yes and she is trying to repeal the so-called "pink tax." (KGO-TV)

Does it cost more to be a woman? Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier says yes and she is trying to repeal the so-called "pink tax."

Women already make 79 cents compared to every dollar that a man makes and to have to pay more for everyday products, Speir says "that's just unfair."

Should a pink basketball cost more than a gray one? "Absolutely not, that's ridiculous," one woman said.

But it does, the pink basketball costs $16.99 and the gray one costs $10.99. ABC7 News found certain adult undergarments for women that cost $18, and for men they cost $16.

Speier calls it a "pink tax" and she wants it repealed. "Whether the gender tax is caused by an unconscious bias or by nefarious scheming, it makes no difference. Its unfair and it's unethical," she said.

Twenty years ago as a state lawmaker, Speier sponsored a measure that led to California becoming first in the nation to do away with gender pricing for services like dry cleaning and haircuts. Now, she wants to expand that to products marketed to women and girls and she has introduced a bill to ban the discrimination nationwide. "You can look at virtually every product and find a discrepancy," she said.

A similar effort by a San Diego lawmaker targeting gender pricing in products sold in California failed after intense lobbying by business groups, including the toy industry, which says there are numerous factors for pricing differences.

This includes the cost of design, cost of marketing, and cost of material, but some consumers aren't buying it. "Let's talk about equality. We should all pay the same prices," one woman said.

Her bill would allow the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to crack down.
Related Topics:
politicswomenshoppingjackie speiermoneySan FranciscoCalifornia
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