Derek Slap


Derek Slap



March 1, 2022

Sen. Slap Pushes for Repeal of ‘Gender Tax’ at Public Hearing

General Law Committee to hear bill that would prohibit gender-based pricing

Today, State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) testified in support of legislation that would repeal the “gender tax” in Connecticut as it received a public hearing in the General Law Committee. While the ‘gender tax’ isn’t a tax imposed by the government, it represents the extra cost baked into many services where women are forced to pay more for the same level of quality, including dry cleaning, hair styling and tailoring. This legislation would make those extra costs discriminatory, erasing a social tax that effectively charges women more simply because they are women.

“Women should not pay higher prices for goods and services simply because they’re women,” Sen. Slap said in his testimony to the General Law Committee. “Yet we know this happens every day. Women have either experienced it or we have seen friends and family endure this price discrimination.”

In a report released by the state of California, he continued, women were found to pay a “gender tax” of approximately $1,351 per year for the same services given to men. In a survey of 80 salons, women paid 25% extra for haircuts similar to that of a man and 27% for identical laundering service on white cotton t-shirts.

“By repealing the gender tax, we’d also be building on our recent efforts to achieve a fairer economy and root out discrimination,” Sen. Slap said. “Since 2018 the legislature has passed bills targeting the gender wage gap and age discrimination in the hiring process. Connecticut should continue its progress and finally eliminate the gender tax this year. Our economy relies on a free and fair market but so often, as in this case, the market is anything but fair. This is our chance to make it a little bit more so for women.”

“Women are being charged more for everything from shampoo to shaving cream, and personally, I’m tired of paying the pink tax. I’m sure women across CT will feel the same,” said State Representative Dorinda Borer (D-West Haven), Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “Taking advantage of women through price gouging is just another wrong that needs to be corrected. When product ingredients and content are similar, there should be equality in the pricing. When services are similar, there should be equality in the pricing. This legislation will open the eyes of consumers and create a dialogue that is past due.”

“On average, the “pink tax” costs women more than $1000 per year,” said Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities Executive Director Tanya Hughes and Deputy Director Cheryl Sharp. “The State of Connecticut has very progressive civil rights laws and the legislation that Senator Slap is willing to pen will join the plethora of civil rights legislation that have been enacted to protect the citizens of the state of Connecticut.“

Senate Bill 189, “An Act Prohibiting Sex or Gender-Based Differential Pricing For Substantially Similar Goods Or Services,” seeks to prohibit pricing based on gender for “substantially similar” goods or services if the difference is due to sex or gender identity or expression.

The “gender tax” has long been a financial strain for women across the country. In 2010, a Consumer Reports study on the pricing practice found that women often paid the same, or more, amounts of money for the same products. The same trend correlates to services. A CBS News report in 2016, where male and female reporters visited dry cleaners to have the same items cleaned, saw the woman charged at least twice what the man was charged in half of those businesses. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that even car repairs and mechanics routinely charged women more than men.