posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 04:47 AM
Sweden's Ikea home furnishing retailer has caused an uproar in its home country, after airbrushing women and girls out of its Saudi Arabian catalogue.
Daily Mail Collection of
before and after images
A version of Ikea's yearly catalogue, published on its Saudi website, shows images that are identical to those in other editions except 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.
A spokeswoman for Ikea says the company is looking into the issue and speaking with its Saudi franchise holder.
Sweden's trade minister has criticised the removal of women, while Swedish EU minister Birgitta Ohlsson has described it as medieval.
Trade minister Ewa Bjoerling said: "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," she said.
Her sentiment was echoed by Swedish European Union minister Birgitta Ohlsson, who branded the incident "medieval".
The Saudi Arabian catalogue reflects that country's cultural norms in that women require permission from a male guardian before traveling or receiving
medical care and being banned from driving. Strict rules of gender segregation apply.
Saudi Women who have received permission to leave the house getting a lift to go
edit on 3-10-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)