A platform for voices supporting women's rights
Over the course of an American woman’s lifetime, she’ll pay more than a man for everything, from health insurance to haircuts, dry cleaning to deodorant. Though civil rights laws prohibit job and housing discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation, there’s no federal law banning discrimination in the sale of goods and services.
While it would be unthinkable to encounter a menu of services that overtly discriminates on the basis of, say, race — imagine a salon that posted different prices for blacks and whites–it’s a long-standing practice when it comes to services that target men and women. “This is a problem that has gone on for many years,” explains professor John Banzhaf of the George Washington University Law School. “Even though it’s well recognized, people sit back and go, ‘Well, that’s just the way it is.’ And if you compare it with all the problems women face, it’s certainly not in the top one, three, even five.”
It’s not just dry cleaning and haircuts where women get socked: We pay more for home mortgages, health insurance, and cars and car repairs (even when we mind our credit, eat right and exercise, and do our homework), not to mention everyday items like deodorant and disposable razors. California, which in 1996 became the first state to ban gender pricing, found that women paid about $1,351 annually in extra costs and fees. Apply that figure to the rest of the women in the country and the total burden is staggering — roughly $151 billion in markups, more than what the federal government spent on education last year and greater than the budgets of 43 states.
Last year, the European Union’s top court outlawed all forms of insurance-related gender pricing, a move that will have profound repercussions for any European who drives or buys into a health-insurance plan. Yet there’s no movement in the US to change the law, no marches in Washington or sit-ins at Congress, no viral Facebook or YouTube campaigns. And without meaningful legislation that demands equality for men and women at the cash register, change will have to come one lawsuit at a time. And who goes to court over a dry-cleaning bill?
For the full story: http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/why-do-women-pay-more