Back Stories » Asia » South Korean Women Stop Spending Money a Day Every Month to Protest Sexist Ads, 'Pink Tax'

In a bid to send a strong message to conglomerates and advertisers about gender-based price discrimination in South Korea, an online campaign calling for a spending strike by women was launched last week.

A rally of South Korean women joined forces to cease spending money on the first Sunday of every month in protest against sexual discrimination, as reported by the Straits Times.

Since its inauguration on July 1, a Facebook group called 'Female Expenditure Strike' and its sister Twitter account (links are in Korean) made up of feminist activists have called for a nationwide strike in order to raise public awareness about advertisements that objectify women, wider discrimination, and "pink tax" — which refers to the higher amount that women often pay when it comes to goods and services compared to men. According to Vox, the existence of "pink tax" means that women pay more than men for identical products because of gender-based marketing. 

Those who join the campaign are expected to boycott all kinds of spending, including even food and public transport. The movement hopes to spread the message that without female participation, industries will take a significant hit to their pockets. 

In a tweet dated June 28, the group said that it took its motif and inspiration from the 1975 Icelandic women's strike, which received the support of roughly 90% of the country's female population at the time and effectively halted Icelandic industry for a day. The event was pivotal in the political ascension of Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who was elected President of Iceland in 1980. 

The South Korean campaign has found considerable following particularly among young and middle-aged working women who are disillusioned by everyday discrimination, as reported by the Korea Herald

"Since I started earning money, I have never been free of the effort to adorn my looks," an anonymous 26-years-old office worker who supports the campaign told the news source. "This society indoctrinates the thought that women, regardless of how successful they are in their career, are without much worth if they are not appealing to male eyes. It's about time that companies realize that they cannot continue to sell products while undermining women the way they do."

[Photo via Raconteur]

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