Exposing The Gender Tax In NYC

January 25, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Women living in New York City are often charged more money than men for similar products, a new city report shows.

According to “From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer,” the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found women are overcharged 42 percent of the time compared to those advertised at men, while males were charged more 18 percent of the time. The genders were charged equally 40 percent of the time.

New York City’s Consumer Affairs Commissioner Julie Menin says the price discrepancy adds up over time.

“And so what this means for women in New York City is over the course of their lifetime, they’re being charged thousands of dollars more for buying the exact same products,” she told MetroFocus Host Jenna Flanngan.

The report released in December reviewed 800 products in 35 categories across New York City including toys, clothing, personal care items and health products. Menin said in many cases the price difference was significant. For example, a pack of women’s razors cost nearly $4 more than those for men, and a pink scooter was advertised for $49.99 but the same product in red was $20 less, she said.

“We’re not talking about price discrepancies of pennies; we’re talking real monetary dollars,” she said.

The Department of Consumer Affairs conducted the review after receiving a number of complaints.

“We were hearing from consumers that this may be an issues and I have to say form personal experience, I used to be a senior regulatory attorney at a consumer products company. We dealt with this very issue,” she said.

However, Menin says the practice isn’t illegal, and although her office notified companies asking them to stop the practice, the report is aimed to spread awareness so consumers can decide if they want to purchase the higher-priced product.

“But quite frankly the burden should never be on the consumer to have to ferret out this kind of practice, the burden should be on the manufacturer and the retailer to do the right thing,” she said.

Menin encouraged consumers to write to companies about the price gap and post their complaints on social media.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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