In the space of one year, France moved up from 45th to 16th place in the World Economic Forum ranking for gender gap.
However, women in France are upset – and maybe rightly so.
A campaign organized by the women’s group Georgette Sand found that products such as shampoo and razors and other goods marketed as “feminine” cost more than identical products marketed to men.
The women claim they are being subjected to an invisible form of overpricing at various stores in the country – a practice the association has labeled as a “woman tax” or “pink tax.”
To deal with this problem, Georgette Sand launched a petition that has attracted more than 30,000 signatures.
“The chain takes advantage of the fact that women’s and men’s hygiene products are in different sections to apply different prices on products that are mostly similar, if not identical,” the complaint stated, addressing supermarket operator Monoprix – whose name ironically means single price.
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In addition to political movement, the Tumblr Woman Tax has allowed people to document examples of what it calls "gender pricing."
The campaign has the support of Pascale Boistard, the secretary of state for women’s rights, who tweeted: “Is pink a luxury color?”
There have been numerous reforms in France to protect, promote and improve gender equality in the workplace and equal pay over the past two years - just last week France passed a sweeping gender equality law that eases current restrictions on abortion, encourages paternity leave and promotes gender parity at home and in the workplace.
“At a time when women in many parts of the world, including in the United States and Spain, are seeing their rights restricted, violated, and disrespected, France has set an important example for the rest of the globe with its progressive stance toward reproductive health care,” Lilian Sepulveda, director of the Global Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement to reporters.
However, in reality, all efforts have resulted in questionable progress according to various women’s rights groups in the country.
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Meanwhile, the Georgette Sand has prompted government action as the officials have promised to investigate the discrepancies.