Women were airbrushed out of the Saudi Arabian version of Ikea’s catalogue. The company has come under enormous criticism for this decision in Sweden and now the news has been broken to the rest of the world. The company has apologised but what does this show?
Money can buy morals: Did the Saudis make this a condition of allowing Ikea to enter its market?
Money matters more than equality: It costs a lot of money to produce catalogues and rather than printing a burqa version Ikea just decided it’s easier to eliminate women altogether.
Burqas spoil the mood: women don’t, I think, wear burqas inside their homes. Putting women in a catalogue would make their face public, however, covering women’s heads and face could spoil the look of comfort and ease in one’s home which is the message the images in the catalogues are meant to convey.
Companies exist to make money but inevitably they become unofficial ambassadors of the countries they originate from. As a woman I’m not offended by Ikea airbrushing women out of their catalogue. It’s silly and they got caught but it’s not the end of the world it’s just business.