The Sunday Times says

Only natural to see red over pink tax

Women hold up half the sky. They will find it difficult to do so if it costs them more than it costs men to hold up their half. That difference lies in the so-called pink tax, an extra charge levied on goods and services for women that are nearly identical to those for men but are marketed differently. Gendered pricing goes against the grain of social development, which assumes the equitable treatment of the sexes at home, work and the market. That such pricing can occur in Singapore, along with countries such as the United States, Germany, France and South Korea, reveals the insidious nature of sexual discrimination in even some of the leaders of the globalised market economy. This is a shame.

Of course, there could be legitimate reasons for pricing products differently. In fact, so long as gender is not involved, women would not mind accepting the difference, just as they and men both would accept the difference in the prices of a Lamborghini and a bicycle. However, it stands to reason that neither of those products should be priced differently simply to make a woman pay more for the privilege of driving or riding in a man's world. In similar vein, it is not wrong for school uniform suppliers to charge a little more for skirts and culottes compared with shorts because the girls' dresses require more material and their design is more complex. However, girls cannot be penalised merely because of their gender.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 12, 2018, with the headline 'Only natural to see red over pink tax'. Print Edition | Subscribe