Saudia Arabia: No women, please, we’re Muslims!
Swedish furniture giant Ikea has landed itself in hot water in its home country after women and girls were airbrushed out of some of the pictures in its Saudi Arabian catalogue.
A local version of Ikea’s yearly catalogue, published on its Saudi website, shows images that are identical to those in other editions save for one detail: the women are gone….
The removal of women from the pages of the Saudi edition, including a young girl who was pictured studying at her desk, has prompted a strong response from Swedes, who pride themselves on egalitarian policies and a narrow gender gap.
“You can’t remove or airbrush women out of reality. If Saudi Arabia does not allow women to be seen or heard, or to work, they are letting half their intellectual capital go to waste,” Trade Minister Ewa Bjoerling said in a statement.
Her sentiment was echoed by Swedish European Union Minister Birgitta Ohlsson, who branded the incident “medieval” on social networking site Twitter.