IKEA Edited Women Out of its Saudi Catalogue, is Sorry (PHOTOS)
You won’t find any women in the Saudi Arabian version of the IKEA furniture catalog. The Swedish company, which has built its image on the idea of a utopian world in which people are judged not by their gender or the color of their skin, but by their ability to put together a kitchen island without all of the screws, has removed each and every woman from its pages.
The photos in the Saudi version of the catalog are basically the same as the photos that appear in other versions, save for one minor detail – they’re entirely devoid of women. In some of the pictures, a woman who appeared in the original has simply been airbrushed out.
In others, the entire photo has been re-shot to exclude the women.
In addition to the edited pictures, all of IKEA’s female ‘featured employees’ were also removed from the catalog.
This is typical of advertising in Saudi Arabia. Women rarely appear in advertisements in the kingdom, and then they do, their hair and bodies are fully covered. In foreign magazines that make their way into the country, female models often appear with black bars over their arms, legs, and chests.
Nevertheless, IKEA has apologized for the misogynistic catalog.
“We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalog is in conflict with the IKEA Group values,” said the company in a statement.
“We are now reviewing our routines to safeguard a correct content presentation from a values point-of-view in the different versions of the IKEA Catalog worldwide.”