NEW YORK — Gender equality is the latest item on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s agenda, as he unveiled a proposal to eliminate the so-called “pink tax.”
The pink tax refers to the higher costs of products and services used by women in comparison to similar products and services used by men. Cuomo plans to push legislation to bar this phenomenon of gender-based pricing discrimination by requiring businesses to post price lists, and assessing civil penalties against them if they violate the law.
“Last year we made equal pay for equal work a reality and this year we’ll build on that progress by breaking down barriers that can prevent women from achieving financial success including the pink tax,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Women shouldn’t be nickel and dimed their entire lives because of their gender - it’s discriminatory and repugnant to our values and we’re putting an end to it.”
A 2015 study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that women’s products cost an average of 7 percent more than similar products for men, and personal care products an average of 13 percent more. As such, women end up spending as much as an additional $1,000 per year as men on similar products, studies have found — a financial burden that’s even more strained by the gender wage gap.
Cuomo’s proposal was applauded by groups across the state.
Beverly Neufeld, president of PowHer New York and a member of the New York State Council for Women and Girls, said in a statement such legislation was a long time coming.
“For too long, manufacturers and sellers have charged higher prices to women for products that are identical to those used by men,” Neufeld said. “Thanks to Gov. Cuomo for fighting to end both forms of economic discrimination and for creating more opportunity for women and families to thrive in New York.”