/ 04.28.21 /

The Economic Cost of Being Female

Let’s start with tampons and the economic cost of being a woman. The conversation around equity is always focused on the wage pay gap but truly women are at an economic disadvantage in many areas. Then add in families with multiple girls and these costs compound quickly putting them at even more of an economic disadvantage.

Did you know:
  1. The “Pink Tax”. This is the extra amount that women pay for everyday products like razors, shampoo, haircuts, clothes, dry cleaning, and more over a lifetime. A few cents difference here and there adds up to a considerable $ over a lifetime.
  2. $18,000 – the approximate cost of a woman’s period over the course of her lifetime. Tampons are estimated at ~$2,000 of that.
  3. Period Poverty” There are women and girls in the US that cannot find the extra $10  that a package of feminine hygiene products costs every month for the rest of her menstruating years. Lack of government assistance for personal care and feminine hygiene products leaves them choosing between food for their families and personal hygiene.
The Good News

As more women come into government and leadership roles, we will start seeing this being addressed as represented in the 2020 Cares Act. There is a line item that now allows women to deduct feminine hygiene products from their FSA, HSA, or HRA. While a step in the right direction, unfortunately, the women we serve do not have luxuries like those accounts. While “equality for all” might be controversial for some, we need to raise these issues and educate more about these challenges facing women on the margins. It is time to stop penalizing women economically for being female and look for solutions that help attain gender parity at all levels.