The issue was highlighted on Monday by the free newspaper, Metro, which compared the Swedish and Saudi versions of the catalogue and showed that women had been airbrushed out of otherwise identical pictures showcasing the company’s products.
Ikea’s Saudi catalogue, which is also available online, looks the same as other editions of the publication, except for the absence of women.
One picture shows a family apparently getting ready for bed, with a young boy brushing his teeth in the bathroom. However, a pyjama-clad woman standing next to the boy is missing from the Saudi version. Another picture of five women dining has been removed in the Saudi edition.
Ikea released a statement expressing regret over the issue, saying: “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.”
Women appear only infrequently in Saudi advertising, mostly on Saudi-owned television channels that show women in long dresses, with scarves covering their hair and long sleeves. In imported magazines, censors black out many parts of a woman’s body including arms, legs and chest.
When Starbucks opened its coffee shops in Saudi Arabia, it removed the long-haired woman from its logo, keeping only her crown.
Sweden’s equality minister, Nyamko Sabuni, said Ikea was a private company that made its own decisions, but added that it also projected an image of Sweden around the world.
“For Ikea to remove an important part of Sweden’s image and an important part of its values in a country that more than any other needs to know about Ikea’s principles and values, that’s completely wrong,” Sabuni told the Associated Press.
Ikea Group, one of the many branches in the company’s complicated corporate structure, said it had produced the catalogue for a Saudi franchisee outside the group.
“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 catalogue worldwide,” it said.
Mitt Romney: GOP senators ‘increasingly likely’ to call John Bolton to testify in impeachment trial
John Bolton's book bombshell may have broken President Donald Trump's grip on the Republican Party.
The former national security adviser's forthcoming book "The Room Where It Happened" claims Trump explicitly tied Ukraine aid to an investigation of Joe Biden, and GOP senators are publicly saying they want him to testify during the impeachment trial.
“I think it’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton," said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
.@SenatorRomney tells reporters just now: “I think it’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton.”
Lindsey Graham abruptly cancels planned press conference in wake of John Bolton bombshell
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) abruptly canceled a planned press conference that had been scheduled for Monday morning after a bombshell report claimed that former national security adviser John Bolton is backing up a key allegation in the impeachment case against President Donald Trump.
Graham was originally set to talk at 11:30 a.m. on Monday alongside several of his fellow Republican senators, but Politico's Jake Sherman reveals that press event has now been shut down.
The graham presser has been canceled. https://t.co/sRwLzQMqri
At least Rex Tillerson tried to restrain Trump — Mike Pompeo is ‘nothing but a smirking cheerleader’: conservative columnist
In August of 2017, conservative writer Max Boot penned an op-ed slamming then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson as having proved himself a "failure at every aspect of being secretary of state," adding that he should "do the country a favor and resign." But in a piece published this Sunday in the Washington Post, Boot would like to offer Tillerson an apology -- an apology for "underestimating his virtues."
"Now that his successor as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is verbally assaulting a reporter and refusing to defend a career ambassador from character assassination — and possibly worse — I miss ol’ Rex and his Boy Scout ethos," Boot writes.