Swedish furniture giant IKEA has found itself embroiled in a class-action lawsuit in Israel after a catalog was produced which omits any images of women.
The gender discrimination suit was filed in the Jerusalem District Court by Orthodox woman Hannah Katsman and the Israel Religious Action Center.
“The total exclusion of women and girls from the catalog sends a serious and difficult message that women have no value and there is something wrong with their presence, even in the family-home space depicted in the catalog,” the suit claims.
If successful, IKEA will be required to compensate nearly 10,000 ultra-Orthodox women who are estimated to have suffered harm. Minimum damages in the multi-million dollar suit would add up to 1,500 shekels (US$414) per woman, according to Haaretz.
IKEA’s Swedish headquarters responded with an apology, saying they had not been aware of the special catalog, aimed at ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jews, of whom some favor strict gender segregation. It is not uncommon for publications in the Haredi community to disallow images that use images of women and girls for commercial purposes.
An IKEA spokesperson said that the publication “does not live up to what IKEA stands for.”
Read the full story at Haaretz.