On the left, an IKEA bathroom ad in Sweden, and on the right, in Saudi Arabia.
Gender inequality is the norm in Saudi Arabia, where women aren’t allowed to drive, and must be covered in public. Now, a chilling IKEA advertisement that has photoshopped out of all the women entirely drives home how disturbingly real the problem is.
Editors at the Swedish edition of Metro (newspaper) noticed that in IKEA’s latest Saudi Arabia catalog all the women have been Photoshopped out. IKEA themselves had digitally erased them. You can see from the photo that this was no simple task. In a bathroom, the mother standing at the sink with her son was transformed to show the son standing at the sink alone. In another section of the catalog, one of IKEA’s own designers, Clara Gausch, was erased from a photo featuring four of their own designers. Disturbing.
Sweden’s trade minister Ewa Björling told Metro that the invisible women were a “sad example” of gender inequality in the country, but also pointed out that despite their best efforts, “you can’t delete women from society.”