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,



Who's signing

Eileen McCabe
Karen Carter
Maurita Noble
khulod z
Lois Sturm
anat Krier
Dhruvika Bhanot
Laura Overmann
Mary Bissell
Bente Sloth
Alex Howe
Michele Divins
Saeed Rahimi Ratky
Loretta Rogers
Kristin Mathis
John Arnold
Maria Valum
Ivica Vrabelova
Tanja Sammatti
Gyda Kjekshus
Live Fosmark
Louise Channon
Rahman Parvaresh
George Weller
Michael Terry
Katherine Smyth
Pamela Bennett
Sherrill Futrell
Mariam Elsayed
2,905 signatures

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Comments

  • Eileen McCabe
    signed 2019-04-02 18:48:49 -0400
  • Karen Carter
    signed 2019-04-02 09:56:03 -0400
  • Maurita Noble
    signed 2019-03-28 08:37:37 -0400
  • khulod z
    signed 2019-03-20 02:16:04 -0400
  • Lois Sturm
    signed 2019-03-14 19:14:43 -0400
  • anat Krier
    signed 2019-03-14 19:12:42 -0400
    anat Krier
  • Dhruvika Bhanot
    signed 2019-03-13 13:17:38 -0400
  • Laura Overmann
    signed 2019-03-12 21:43:16 -0400
  • Mary Bissell
    signed 2019-03-11 19:10:37 -0400
  • Bente Sloth
    signed via 2019-03-11 17:41:10 -0400
  • Alex Howe
    signed 2019-03-11 16:01:52 -0400
  • michele Divins
    @765dfdb324b1423 tweeted link to this page. 2019-03-11 13:29:32 -0400
    Tell @Google and @Apple: Stand with Saudi women, don’t facilitate the Saudi Guardianship system. #DeleteAbsher #EndMaleGuardianship via CODEPINK https://www.codepink.org/absher?recruiter_id=807416
  • Michele Divins
    signed 2019-03-11 13:29:13 -0400
  • Saeed Rahimi Ratky
    signed 2019-03-11 02:23:10 -0400
    As a human, I want to begging men that respecting women rights and considering them as human, please don’t pay attention to gender differences, exactly all of us are human and imagine that if this condition was vice versa how your feel that.
  • Loretta Rogers
    signed 2019-03-08 23:56:51 -0500
  • Kristin Mathis
    signed 2019-03-08 17:53:09 -0500
    As a survivor of stalking and domestic violence, I find this app revolting—a violation of basic human rights. It disgusts me that Apple and Google are making it available on your app stores.
  • John Arnold
    signed 2019-03-08 17:43:55 -0500
  • Maria Valum
    signed 2019-03-08 14:50:52 -0500
  • Ivica Vrabelova
    signed 2019-03-08 10:52:18 -0500
    Ivica Vrabelova
  • Tanja Sammatti
    signed 2019-03-08 10:08:40 -0500
    This is outrageous. At this day and age companies like Google and Apple should not stand with human right violations such as this.
  • Gyda Kjekshus
    signed 2019-03-08 09:43:59 -0500
  • Live Fosmark
    signed 2019-03-08 09:09:51 -0500
  • Louise Channon
    signed 2019-03-08 02:05:13 -0500
  • Rahman Parvaresh
    signed 2019-03-06 12:18:40 -0500
    Arabs of Saudi Arabia must learn that women are not their slave, but they are a creature of God who has equal rights with men.
  • George Weller
    signed 2019-03-06 09:52:41 -0500
    Sundar Pichai should be ashamed. Google went from “dont be evil” to “be as evil as possible”.
  • Michael Terry
    signed 2019-03-06 02:15:56 -0500
  • Katherine Smyth
    signed 2019-03-06 00:37:32 -0500
  • Pamela Bennett
    signed 2019-03-05 11:23:42 -0500
    Thanks for this
  • Sherrill Futrell
    signed 2019-03-04 22:48:11 -0500
    You’re thugs and once again embarrass yourselves.
  • Mariam Elsayed
    signed 2019-03-04 21:01:25 -0500
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