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IKEA Remove Women In Catalog Angers Saudi Women

Saudi women have long been taking the back seat to their male counterparts.

Seeing women’s images removed in an Ikea catalog shows that reality.

The Swedish-based retailer airbrushed images of women in their annual catalog that were shipped to the religiously conservative Islamic kingdom.

Many people were upset about the images being removed including Sweden’s trade minister, Ewa Bjorling. She says that even though Saudi Arabia “has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality,” the images clearly show that it’s still around.

IKEA apologized for the airbrushing. They said:

“regrets what has happened and understands that people are upset.”

“It is not the local franchisee that has requested the retouch of the discussed pictures. The mistake happened during the work process occurring before presenting the draft catalog for IKEA Saudi Arabia. We take full responsibility for the mistakes made.”

Some were not upset. Blogger Eman Al Nafjan said:

“We’re beyond that right now in Saudi Arabia‚Ķ.”

“With internet and satellite TV, there’s really no such thing anymore as blacking out women or airbrushing out women. I would be upset if something like Google was doing it, but IKEA to do it, that’s just marketing — it’s not such a big deal.”

Most international magazines had been censored in Saudi Arabia. Magazines that show shoulders or stomachs were typically coloured in with black markers. Nowadays Nafjan says, people don’t try to cover up women magazines.

“It’s strange — almost like they gave up. I saw a woman wearing a miniskirt on a cover of a magazine when I was at the grocery store,” she said.

What do you think? Was IKEA insensitive about women’s equal rights?

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  • Meski

    Really too bad :-(

  • Marsha Sanchez

    Too bad IKEA won’t feature any women in their catalog. It really shows discrimination for us women. :-(

  • Allen

    I really hate discrimination against women! IKEA is so inconsiderate!

  • Hillary

    I think they underestimate women too much! IKEA do not give justice for making this terrible decisions! :-(

  • JhonX

    The behave of IKEA is quite wrong, I think:-(

  • Annie J.

    I really do not like this kind of news. It hurts me as a woman, it seems they do not value our existence. :-(

  • Lauren Swift

    For my own view I think IKEA is very unfair to all women which is not good.

  • Lovina

    I think IKEA is totally insensitive women equal rights!

  • Rahim Zafar

    Arabian doesn’t believe in the gender equality. They always try to under estimate the women which is really shocking :(

  • Yoga Lee

    It’s not a good thing ;(