Swedish store Ikea criticised for airbrushing women out of Saudi catalogue
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."