News Middle East

Friday 22 November 2019

Swedish store Ikea criticised for airbrushing women out of Saudi catalogue

A page from the IKEA catalogue available in Sweden
A page from the IKEA catalogue available in Sweden
The same catalogue appears in Saudi Arabia with the woman airbrushed out
The fronty page of the Metro daily newspaper in Stockholm

FURNITURE store giant Ikea has been criticised for deleting images of women from the Saudi version of its catalogue, a move the company says it regrets.

Comparing the Swedish and Saudi versions of the Ikea catalogue, Swedish newspaper Metro showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company's home furnishings.

The report raised questions in Sweden about Ikea's commitment to gender equality. The country's trade minister Ewa Bjorling did not criticise Ikea directly but told Metro that it was not possible to delete women from society.

Ikea said: "We should have reacted and realised that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea group values."

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