Category: Media & Culture / October 2, 2012 4:20 PM EDT
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA faced a storm of criticism on Monday after media reports revealed it had removed all women from the Saudi version of the company's catalogue.
The catalogue, which is printed in several languages, is generally identical, but in the Saudi version, the women have been removed via photo retouching.
The move has drawn a lot of criticism from politicians of all parties and from IKEA shoppers alike.
The Swedish Minister for Gender Equality Nyamko Sabuni said women in Saudi Arabia were subjected to "terrible oppression" and said it was sad that IKEA had chosen to remove women from their catalogue.
The criticism prompted an apology from IKEA who said they would be looking over their routines and work practices.
Women in Saudi Arabia are regarded as minors and require the permission of their guardian - father, brother, or husband - to leave the country, receive some kinds of medical treatment or work. They are not allowed to drive and are usually expected to be accompanied by a male chaperone.