Swedish home furniture giant Ikea has been criticized on Monday for deleting images of women from the Saudi  version of its furniture catalogue, a move the company says it regrets.
The Sweden-based Metro newspaper printed side-by-side images of the Swedish and Saudi issues of the catalogue, showing that women had been airbrushed out of the Saudi version, changing otherwise identical pictures which showcase the company's home furnishings. Sweden’s trade minister Ewa Bjorling did not address Ikea directly but she voiced her criticism to the Sweden-based Metro newspaper, saying that women should not be deleted from society. Ikea responded with the statement: “We should have reacted and realized that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the IKEA Group  values.”
What do you think - is Ikea being too hard on itself for attempting to respect cultural standards, or is the decision to remove women from its catalogue inexcusable? Leave us your comments below!