Why are women paying more than men for some products and services? And why is this difference called the pink tax?






  • premium – an amount to be paid for a contract of insurance
  • to cue sth – to give someone a signal to do something
  • to see red over sth – become very angry suddenly
  • razor – an instrument with a sharp blade or set of blades, used to remove unwanted hair from the face or body
  • grooming – the practice of keeping a neat and tidy appearance

Watch and listen

Answer the questions below.

  • What did women in Singapore do when their health insurance premiums were increased? (00:30)
  • When and where did the term “pink tax” originate? (0:50)
  • What other products for women are more expensive in Singapore and elsewhere around the world? (1:20)
  • What do studies in the US show? (2:20)
  • Why could there be a justifiable difference in pricing of items for men and women? (2:45)

Practice Makes Perfect

SENTENCE HALVES: Match the beginning of the sentence (1-5) with the rest (a-e). Go to Inc.com to find out more.

1. In 2015, the Department of Consumer Affairs released a study a. was surprisingly blatant
2. Some of the price discrimination they found b. are generally made more durable than women’s.
3. Gender price discrimination makes itself c. is to refuse to pay it whenever we can.
4. My observation is that men’s clothing and other products d. felt in other ways besides product pricing.
5. And the best way to fight the pink tax e. measuring the pink tax in New York City.
PHRASAL VERBS: Use the phrasal verbs in bold below to fill in the sentences.
1. In one experiment this happened even when a man and a woman __________ the same garment at the dry cleaners.2. As The New York Times found when it __________ a dry cleaner about the discrepancy, for at least some dry cleaners, dry cleaning women’s clothes rather than laundering them is a matter of policy

3. I never could find a pair of women’s work gloves that would __________ a tough job, although I did find many with pretty pictures of flowers on them.

4. This is the basis for the odd reasoning, __________ by some consumer products businesses, that it makes sense for women to pay more for products because it costs more to market those products to women.

5. There’s a relatively straightforward action that women __________ the pink tax can take: vote with our wallets, as I did

6. Retailers and manufacturers will __________ all sorts of excuses for charging more for women’s products.


SENTENCE HALVES – 1.e   2.a   3.d   4.b   5.c

PHRASAL VERBS – 1.dropped off   2. followed up with   3. stand up to   4. put forth   5. faced with   6. come up with