Anything goes if it means making more money. Even erasing women and girls' presence.
Furniture giant IKEA criticised after women and girls were airbrushed out of its Saudi Arabian catalogue.
Sweden's Metro newspaper showed that women had been airbrushed out of the company's Saudi catalogue [AP]
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.
"We are looking into the issue and holding a dialogue with our Saudi franchise holder," said Ulrika Englesson Sandman, a spokesperson for Inter IKEA Systems, which owns the IKEA trademark and concept.
When entering a new market the company always takes into account the ability to balance local culture and legislation with its own values, she added.
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," Ewa Bjoerling, the trade minister, 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.
Saudi Arabia applies strict rules of gender segregation, banning women from driving and requiring them to have permission from a male guardian before travelling or receiving medical care.
IKEA's Saudi franchise partner currently operates three stores in the country, where it has seen "double digit" yearly growth over the past five years, according to its website.
But they think it's 'Queen Esther' this time.. Bahahaha!
This reminds me of the kind of foaming-at-the-mouth lunacy that the Christian Right had in America when they come up with Ernie and Bert from Sesame street or the Teletubbies being gay :-P
Ya got it in one there A.
Good one Michel, a good cackle!
Didn't the original Starbucks logo have the woman's boobs showing?
I am surprised Saudi Arabian men or all Middle Eastern men aren't gay. They should be. If they want to sensor all women from pictures and public viewing then that means they don't like them which means they are gay. I solved the question myself. :D
Not all Middle Eastern are like that..
In Lebanon and also Tunisia, you see hot women walk on streets with their partners and every man is proud of his sexy wife or his gf.
They wear bikini at beaches,mini skirts,, and all that.