Women shopping
Women pay more than men when it comes to retail, a study has shownReuters

Women have to pay up to twice as much as men for virtually the same products, an investigation has found.

Some clothes, beauty products and toys for women and girls cost more than the same products marketed at males and this difference in prices is seen at some of the country's biggest retailers including Tesco and Boots.

For instance, at Argos, scooters are £5 more expensive in pink than in blue while Tesco charges double the price for ten disposable razors simply because they are pink, the investigation by The Times found.

Standard razors for women tended to cost 49 per cent more than the equivalent for men. Tesco sells five own-brand "female twin-blade disposable razors" for £1. For the same price men get ten of an almost identical product, except that the razors are blue, the newspaper said.

The French pen maker Bic's "for her" ballpoints are more expensive than its ordinary range, even though the products are almost identical. Five "for her" black ink ballpoints with pastel-coloured barrels cost £2.99 at Staples. The same five black ink pens in transparent and less slimline barrels cost £1.98. Bic did not comment.

Maria Miller, who leads the women and equalities committee, told The Times: "It is unacceptable that women face higher costs for the same products just because they are targeted at women.

"Retailers have got to explain why they do this. At a time when we should be moving towards a more de-gendered society, retailers are out of step with public opinion."

A Tesco spokesperson told the paper: "We work hard to offer clear, fair and transparent pricing. A number of products for females have additional design and performance features. We continually review our pricing strategy."

A spokesman for Boots said: "Our products are priced individually based on factors including formulation, ingredients and market comparison."