Video raises awareness about Pink Tax; shop charges women more than men
Courtney Greenberg, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, October 4, 2016 5:12PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 4, 2016 6:59PM EDT
A social experiment at a Toronto coffee shop is raising awareness about the so-called Pink Tax, where women are charged more than men for the same products or services.
The video of the experiment was posted Monday on YouTube by Girl Talk HQ, a women’s news media website.
Hidden cameras were set up at Tokyo Smoke, a coffee shop located near Adelaide Street and Strachan Avenue, in mid-September.
The shop listed prices for both genders on a large menu and recorded the reactions of customers, who realized the women would be charged more than men for the same items.
“So a man pays $2 for a drip coffee and I pay $3.50 for it?” said one female customer.
“So it’s discrimination basically,” said another woman.
Some customers on the video refused to pay and walked away from the coffee shop. One woman told the barista she would no longer be a customer.
“The customers were real,” Girl Talk HQ creator and editor-in-chief Asha Dahya told CTV Toronto in an interview Tuesday. “They were absolutely real. The barristas and the people who work at the café knew what was going on.”
The media company is based in Los Angeles, but they decided to film the video in Canada because of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s stance on gender equality.
“We’ve been following his lead up to the election, when he was announced prime minister, everything he’s done in his office,” said Dahya, “making his cabinet half women and saying he’s a feminist. It was kind of a no brainer from us. Canada and its prime minister seem to be leading the way on gender equality. So if we start there, I think that will set a good standard.”
Dahya said she depended on contacts in Toronto who helped her find a coffee shop that would agree to let them film there.
“This is our first major campaign,” Dahya said, “and we’re hoping that it will help expand and reach bigger audience in North America.”
The Pink Tax can cost women almost $2,000 a year – or close to $100,000 over the span of their lives, according to Girl Talk HQ.
A survey done by ParseHub in March 2016 looked at thousands of personal care products from three Canadian retailers.
“It is clear that gram for gram, women are paying more than men for basic products like shampoo, razors, soap and deodorant,” the study revealed. “Women pay 43 per cent more for personal care products in Canada than men.”
Girl Talk HQ are trying to fight the Pink Tax by reaching a goal of 20,000 online supporters.
“Once we do, we’ll approach Justin Trudeau and the Minister of Status of Women with a formal appeal,” they said on their website.
There were 634 supporters on Tuesday afternoon.