The New Jersey State Senate unanimously voted Thursday to ban the so-called “pink tax” which detractors say forces women to spend more money on products than their male counterparts.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Nia Gill, Linda Greenstein and Nellie Pou, would “prohibit gender-based discrimination when it comes to product pricing,” the State Senate Democrats said in a statement. “Businesses will be prohibited from charging different prices for any two consumer products or services that are substantially similar based on the gender the products or services are marketed towards.”
The senators argue that women, by their 50th birthday, will have spent an average of $69,132 more than a man for the same goods and services.
“The ‘Pink Tax’ is not only unfair, but it promotes gender discrimination by forcing those who identify as female to pay more for products that are often indistinguishable from the same goods marketed towards men,” said Sen. Greenstein. “As a society, we have taken great strides in recent years to close the gap between genders, focusing on ways we can make the world a more equal place. As long as the pink tax is still in existence, achieving gender equality will simply not be feasible.”
Under the bill, all businesses, such as tailors, barbers, hair salons, dry cleaners and laundromats, will be required to clearly disclose to their customers, in writing or online, the pricing for each of their standard services. The bill would not prohibit price differences on the basis of labor, materials, tariffs or any other gender-neutral reason.
The bill was approved by the Senate with a vote of 35-0. A corresponding bill is still in committee in the state assembly.