Member of parliament, Björt Ólafsdóttir, wants to highlight the “pink tax” on Icelandic consumers, a phenomenon where products for women cost more than comparable products for men.
Björt told Vísir that most people do not necessarily comparison shop between genders but that she began noticing the difference more frequently while shopping for her twins, one boy and a girl. Clothes and other items for her daughter would be markedly higher than for her son, despite being the same products.
While walking through a store with journalist Andri Ólafsson, Björt randomly compared daily items such as razors; a Gillette razor for women was 55% more expensive than a Gillette razor for men. An anti-aging Nivea moisturiser for women was 41% more expensive than the same moisturiser for men.
A 5 piece set of baby onesies for girls was 9% more expensive than a 5 piece set of baby onesies for boys (same brand and size).
“I might say, let’s just buy the cheaper one, both the boys and girls onesies are beautiful,” said Björt. “But most people might defer to [gender norms] and chose the girls onesies which just costs more, that’s the pink tax. But why? It’s the same product, so why should it be more expensive to shop for girls?”
Björt told the reporter that she is still unsure how to tackle the issue from a customs perspective but that the best way to fight this in the interim is for consumers to “not buy into it” and encourage people to purchase the cheaper versions of the same products.
Still she acknowledges that not everyone will feel boycotting the more expensive products realistic.
“It’s not always the realistic choice, especially if you have your child in tow and they want the pink trousers that cost more money,” said Björt, holding up a pair of pink trousers. “Maybe in a few years my daughter will be crazy about pink, am I supposed to shove her into black trousers instead?”