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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Columns

Financial inequality projected upon women


There’s essentially no argument against the fact that women of all countries, races and origins are discriminated against in some way.

Yes, America has one of the most beneficial atmospheres for women, but there are still issues that exist within our society regarding gender discrimination. It stands as a fact that this prejudice flows through nearly every aspect of society, and perhaps one of the most debilitating instances of this is the financial inequality of women.

It’s proven that women pay more for goods and services than men do. Products offered to consumers are broken down into categories of necessity and desire, and from there are divided into gender-specific groups. Usually, the only variation in these products is the color.

A recent study conducted by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs analyzed the prices of nearly 800 products and concluded that 42% of the products sold to women were more expensive. Razors sold to women are 11% more expensive than those sold to men, and the price of shampoo price is increased by a whopping 48%.

This enigma even bleeds down into children’s toys. The exact same toy targeted toward girls with gender-specific packaging is proven to cost an average 11% more than those that are targeted toward boys or are gender-neutral. According to a Kansas City news source, in 2015, a gender-neutral scooter retailed at $29.92 while a nearly identical pink one with tassels cost $32.82. According to the same source, at another store, a gender-neutral kitchen set was priced at $138.99 while the identical one, colored in pastels, went for $172.61.

The acceptance of this entertains the idea that women are willing to pay more for these feminized products. Alongside this, there is the idea held by big business that women simply aren’t economically intelligent enough to understand the price differences regarding gender-directed products. Yale directed a study that confirmed that women pay, on average, $200 more for the exact same vehicle than one purchased by a man.

This is because women aren’t perceived as learned in things that are culturally regarded as masculine interests.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women are paid 21.4% less than men. The issue is even more substantial when it comes to women of color. The American Association of University Women reported that, in 2014, black women earned 63% of what white men in America were paid while Latina women earned 54%.

With these women falling into higher poverty rates, the discrimination between race and gender becomes even more evident. This puts an even greater financial strain on low-income households, promotes the use of welfare and does nothing to address the issue of poverty that runs rampant through the nation.  

The price increase on gender-specific goods is illogical, and so far, there has been no acknowledgement of this controversy by the national government. Everything is considered from an economic standpoint, and the only logical reason that gender discrimination in consumer products still exists is that there is no financial benefit to equalizing these prices.

On a state level, only California and New York have passed laws making it illegal to engage in gender-based price discrimination.

As sexism flows through America in the 21st century, the gaps regarding men and women need to be closed and steps toward complete equality need to be taken. Women are being taken advantage of, and when they’re paying more and earning less in 2017, there is an evident issue at hand that needs to be eradicated immediately.

Katie Santana is a graphic design sophomore and can be reached at [email protected]

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