Last Updated: Mon Oct 01, 2012 17:26 pm (KSA) 14:26 pm (GMT)

A vanishing act? Ikea ‘erases’ women from Saudi catalogue

The Sweden-based Metro newspaper printed side-by-side images of the Swedish and Saudi issues of the catalogue. (Courtesy: EPA)
The Sweden-based Metro newspaper printed side-by-side images of the Swedish and Saudi issues of the catalogue. (Courtesy: EPA)

Swedish home furniture giant Ikea has been criticized on Monday for deleting images of women from the Saudi version of its furniture catalogue, a move the company says it regrets.

The Sweden-based Metro newspaper printed side-by-side images of the Swedish and Saudi issues of the catalogue, showing that women had been airbrushed out of the Saudi version, changing otherwise identical pictures which showcase the company's home furnishings.

Sweden’s trade minister Ewa Bjorling did not address Ikea directly but she voiced her criticism to the Sweden-based Metro newspaper, saying that women should not be deleted from society.

Ikea responded with the statement: “We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group values.”

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