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The pink tax

Important information - the value of investments can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. Withdrawals from a pension product will not normally be possible until you reach age 55 (57 from 2028). This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity's advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

" It’s clear as day that products marketed towards women are far more expensive. To cut costs, I opt for men’s razors and even baby skincare. Still, it’s frustrating that companies want us to pay more just because of our gender."

Nafeesa Zaman, Content Creator

Know what you're up against

Research shows that consumer products advertised to women are often more expensive than products marketed to men1. This is also known as the ‘pink tax’. And while it’s not an actual tax, there are numerous examples where women pay more than men for a similar product. Did you know that women’s deodorant is on average 8.9% more expensive than men’s? And women’s facial moisturiser is 34.28% more expensive? The same price uplift often applies to perfumes versus aftershaves and girls’ clothes versus boys and, sadly, the list goes on. It doesn’t only impact women’s non-essential items, it also affects healthcare products.

According to a survey of over 2,000 Brits by Bolt Burdon Kemp women spend, on average, over £370 each year on products related to reproduction. There’s no clear answer why women are spending so much on their sexual health, but research suggests that women struggle to access healthcare compared to men.

Nearly 50% more women than men go back to their GP because they can’t get the right diagnosis on a first visit, while one in 10 women have visited their doctor three to five times over the past five years because they couldn’t get a diagnosis the first time around2.


1. World Economic Forum - July 2022
2. Bolt Burdon Kemp - June 2023

Take control

There’s still some way to go when it comes to gender equality issues like the pink tax. Until the powers that be take more formal practical measures, here are some steps you can take to readdress the balance.

  • Don’t pay a few pounds more for multivitamins because they’re aimed at women. Ask your GP what supplements they recommend. They may suggest you don’t need anything gender specific.
  • Check-in with your pharmacy or GP for free contraceptives.
  • Shop smart - you can start comparing prices in supermarkets. Is it more expensive to buy disposable razors just because they’re pink? Perhaps you can opt for a gender-neutral moisturiser instead of one aimed at women.
  • If you’re in Scotland, where you can access free prescriptions, visit your doctor if you think you need pessaries or other sexual health products rather than buying them yourself. Not only will you save money, but you’ll be able to receive a more accurate diagnosis the first time around.
  • Get your money working harder for you. We've got a dedicated page about investing for beginners. You can open an ISA and set up a regular saving account from £25 per month.
  • If you're already investing, make the most of your tax-free allowances for your ISA or your SIPP

What you could do next

Start a tax efficient savings account

Invest in a Stocks and Shares ISA and pay no income tax or capital gains tax on your returns.

Explore regular saving

Making regular monthly contributions to your investments as part of a savings plan could help them grow into a sizeable sum over the long term.

Explore Easy Invest

If you don’t know where to begin, Easy Invest can help with a simple, low-cost fund suggestion.