Tell Google and Apple: Stand with Saudi women, don’t facilitate the Saudi Guardianship system

The ultimate stalking tool for Saudi men: Google and Apple are offering an app in Saudi Arabia to assist men track the whereabouts of their wives, daughters, nieces, and employees. The app, called Absher, was created by the Saudi National Information Center, which is a project of the Saudi Ministry of Interior for the country’s guardianship system that requires women to get  permission from a husband, brother, uncle or other male guardian to engage in such basic things as obtaining a passport, traveling, getting married or divorced, and obtaining medical treatment.

The description of the app in Google and Apple stores says, "you [men] can safely browse your profile or your family members, or [laborers] working for you, and perform a wide range of eServices online."

In the past, Saudi women have needed paper forms signed by their male guardian to travel, but the Absher app makes the process more convenient for Saudi men and even more intrusive for Saudi women. The app provides men real-time text message alerts when women under their control try to leave or enter the country to prevent these women from leaving the country without explicit permission, reinforcing the sexist Saudi guardianship system. It’s demeaning, patronizing and abusive to  Saudi women.

Human Rights Watch has called on Apple and Google to either remove the app entirely from their stores or disable the features of the app that enable men to track women. Senator Ron Wyden has penned a letter to Apple and Google asking them to remove the app, stating, "it is hardly news that the Saudi monarchy seeks to restrict and repress Saudi women, but American companies should not enable or facilitate the Saudi government's patriarchy."

Add your name to our letter to Google and Apple demanding that they stop facilitating the  Saudi repression of women. Tell them to remove the Absher app from their stores.


Dear Google and Apple,

It is urgent that you remove the Absher from your app stores. This Saudi app assists Saudi men in tracking the whereabouts of their wives, daughters, nieces, and employees. The app reinforces Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system that requires women to have permission from a husband, brother, uncle or other male guardian in order to engage in such basic things as obtaining a passport, traveling, getting married or divorced, and obtaining medical treatment.

Human Rights Watch, Senator Ron Wyden, and numerous others have called on you to remove the app as it facilitates the Saudi government's repression of women.

Both of your app stores have policies banning inappropriate content such as the promotion of hate speech, graphic violence, bullying, and harassment.

The Absher app aids in extreme violations of women’s right and freedoms and should be considered “inappropriate content”. It is urgent you remove it.

Sincerely,



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  • Karen Carlisle
    signed 2019-02-17 07:33:33 -0500
  • martha
    signed 2019-02-17 07:15:32 -0500
  • Illana Naylor
    signed 2019-02-17 05:49:45 -0500
  • Jojo Weaver
    signed 2019-02-17 05:31:40 -0500
  • David Baker
    signed 2019-02-17 05:03:24 -0500
  • yehoshua rosin
    signed 2019-02-17 04:58:06 -0500
  • Ruby Matthews
    signed 2019-02-17 04:40:02 -0500
  • maria fernandez
    signed 2019-02-17 03:18:43 -0500
    Raquel Gribler
  • Lubna K
    signed 2019-02-17 01:22:14 -0500
    No this is not what abshir does. Actually but stopping abshir you will make our life more difficult


    There is not tracking app in Abshir

    In saudi all expats evens Men need exit reemtry visa and instead of doing through the passport office it’s done through Abshir


    As per religion and all Muslim countries we have a guardian system

    It is not unique to Saudi abshir is just a tool and not a tracker it makes things easier for us
  • Margaret Goodman
    signed 2019-02-17 01:16:16 -0500
  • Edwina Vogan
    signed 2019-02-17 01:12:49 -0500
  • Robin Durston
    signed 2019-02-17 01:05:50 -0500
  • K Danowski
    signed 2019-02-17 01:04:55 -0500
  • Nomi Steinfeld
    signed 2019-02-17 00:50:57 -0500
  • John Estes
    signed 2019-02-17 00:09:25 -0500
  • Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick
    signed 2019-02-17 00:08:37 -0500
    How much time do you need to recognize slavery when it is so clearly obvious?
  • Lazaro Mohamed
    signed 2019-02-17 00:04:06 -0500
  • E Scantlebury
    signed 2019-02-16 23:57:47 -0500
  • Laurie Ferhani Ferhani
    signed 2019-02-16 23:50:20 -0500
  • Adrianne Davis
    signed 2019-02-16 23:46:52 -0500
    Seyburn Zorthian
  • nancy jones
    signed 2019-02-16 23:32:10 -0500
  • Kirk Bails
    signed 2019-02-16 23:27:08 -0500
  • m c kubiak
    signed 2019-02-16 23:19:16 -0500
  • Lars Laurinovics
    signed via 2019-02-16 23:18:23 -0500
    Hey Google and Apple,

    Stop facilitating the Saudi repression of women. Remove the app immediately. Disgusting and shameful!
  • Lars Laurinovics
    followed this page 2019-02-16 23:08:12 -0500
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    signed 2019-02-16 23:02:10 -0500
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    signed 2019-02-16 22:50:22 -0500
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    signed 2019-02-16 22:44:42 -0500
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    signed 2019-02-16 22:40:45 -0500
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    signed 2019-02-16 22:40:18 -0500
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