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Norwegian prime minister slams IKEA

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17:16 CET+01:00
Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik has attacked Swedish furniture chain IKEA over the depiction of women - or rather, lack of - in its assembly instructions.

Bondevik is outraged that none of IKEA's product-assembly guidelines actually show women putting the furniture together.

The reason for the men only policy, according to IKEA's Norwegian information chief Camilla Lindemann, is the fact that "in Muslim countries there's a problem with using women in instructions". Norwegian media said that the prime minister, who once went on sick leave because he was "burnt out", was unimpressed by IKEA's explanation.

"That's not good enough," Bondevik told Norwegian tabloid VG.

"Promoting attitudes of equality is at least as important in Muslim countries. They should just change this."

Apparently, VG sent out intrepid reporters to talk to Muslims in Oslo and found that none of them could understand IKEA's explanation.

"Islam is not the way it was in Afghanistan," said Fahrid Ismail of Jordan. "Women can study, they can do anything."

IKEA has now promised to rectify the lack of female assemblers in its instructions.

"Now we'll make sure that there's an equal distribution," said Fredrik Wahrolen, in the Swedish information office.

Sources: Aftenposten, VG

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