Australia cafe charges 18 % ‘man tax’ to highlight gender pay gap

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Melbourne: An Australian cafe is charging its male customers an 18% “man tax” for one week every month and giving women priority seating to raise awareness about the gender pay gap.

Handsome Her, a vegan cafe in Brunswick, Melbourne, is a cafe where women reign supreme. The cafe has been charging men 18% more in a bid to address the gender pay gap. Alexandra O’Brien, the owner of the cafe, calls the place a space for women, by women, with women receiving priority seating and an extra tax for men.

“One week out of every month we have an 18% premium for men which is the same as the gender pay gap,” O’Brien was quoted as saying by 7 News. The charge is also not compulsory. “I think it’s fair—if you think about the world and the gender inequality that we have,” a female customer was quoted as saying. “I think it’s a brilliant idea because I don’t think many people actually know the gap,” another female customer said.

A male customer named Phil Dempster said, “I could wear that, given it’s a fairly unequal pay gap between men and women.” “Even though there is supposedly equal pay, it doesn’t really equate out there,” he said. The staff at the cafe was quoted as saying that the gender tax is not aimed at excluding people but rather educating them with proceeds going to charity.

“If men don’t want to pay it, we’re not going to kick them out the door. It’s just an opportunity to do some good,” O’Brien said.

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