A debate was called in Parliament this week by Labour MP Paula Sheriff (who last year also fought the ‘Tampon Tax’) to look at why clothes and beauty products aimed at women were more expensive than the same ones marketed at men.
Worryingly the price difference seems to begin early with toys. An identical scooter in Argos, for example, was £5 more expensive in pink and marketed for girls than the same model in blue, apparently for boys.
Putting aside the lack of imagination in their colour choices, something doesn’t smell quite right...
I spoke to friends about this, asking if they thought it was true. Were shops brazen enough to be overcharging us for the privilege of pink packaging?
The overwhelming response? Absolutely. But unlike me, they hadn't been duped. I’ve been missing a trick. They always buy 'men’s' razors which are apparently better anyway.
And they’ll have saved some money as a result. Of all the products the investigation looked at, those marketed at women were on average 37% pricier.
Combine the fact we’re being charged more for the same products with the shocking statistics on the gender pay gap - we earn on average 14.2% LESS than men for a full time job – women are being taken for a ride and I’m glad savvier shoppers than me have spotted it.
Boots is already correcting their gendered pricing of razors and eye creams. It’s time others shaved those surplus sexist pounds off their products too.
Words by Ellie Gellard, ELLE Politics Editor