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

Bonnie Bayardi
Mary Dunn
kathy foley
Faith Peeples
Jane Urban
Ramya Chellappa
Victoria Shuck
Sholey Argani
Pamela Stoner
David Kerby
Stacey Sharpless
Mary Ann Dunant
George McGreevy
Pirooz Daneshmandi
Daniela Espinoza
Robin Cabana
Francene McClintock
Carol Nayery
Lee Martin
Carl Anderson
Lynne Walter, MSW
William Perry Jr
Stephen Schoggen
linda faste
M B
Nicholas Habben
Ersyla Nellajoy
Vicki Ferguson
A F
Karen Mastaglio
2,905 signatures

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Comments

  • Bonnie Bayardi
    signed 2019-03-04 19:50:02 -0500
  • Mary Dunn
    signed 2019-03-04 16:59:31 -0500
  • kathy foley
    signed 2019-03-04 16:28:04 -0500
  • Faith Peeples
    signed 2019-03-04 14:14:57 -0500
  • Jane Urban
    signed 2019-03-04 14:06:07 -0500
  • Ramya Chellappa
    signed 2019-03-04 11:35:34 -0500
  • Victoria Shuck
    signed 2019-03-04 08:46:44 -0500
  • Sholey Argani
    signed 2019-03-03 18:45:28 -0500
  • Pamela Stoner
    signed 2019-03-03 16:55:49 -0500
  • David Kerby
    signed 2019-03-03 15:28:59 -0500
  • Stacey Sharpless
    signed 2019-03-03 11:41:55 -0500
  • Mary Ann Dunant
    signed 2019-03-02 22:40:44 -0500
  • George McGreevy
    signed 2019-03-02 22:28:29 -0500
    Please stop enabling these oppressors of women!
  • Pirooz Daneshmandi
    signed 2019-03-01 12:04:58 -0500
  • Daniela Espinoza
    signed 2019-02-28 23:16:56 -0500
  • Robin Cabana
    signed 2019-02-28 19:15:29 -0500
  • Francene McClintock
    signed 2019-02-28 10:27:32 -0500
  • Carol Nayery
    signed 2019-02-28 08:53:03 -0500
  • Lee Martin
    signed 2019-02-28 01:43:56 -0500
  • Carl Anderson
    signed 2019-02-27 23:49:41 -0500
  • Lynne Walter, MSW
    signed 2019-02-27 20:52:06 -0500
  • William Perry Jr
    signed 2019-02-27 15:39:55 -0500
  • Stephen Schoggen
    signed 2019-02-27 02:05:24 -0500
  • linda faste
    signed 2019-02-27 00:25:56 -0500
  • M B
    signed 2019-02-27 00:19:23 -0500
  • Nicholas Habben
    signed 2019-02-26 23:58:43 -0500
  • Ersyla Nellajoy
    signed 2019-02-26 23:04:52 -0500
    Googl, Apple, and all American companies, tell the Saudis that controlling women is not okay. DO NOT make money off of this human rights travesty!
  • Vicki Ferguson
    signed 2019-02-26 21:14:37 -0500
  • A F
    signed 2019-02-26 20:30:47 -0500
  • Karen Mastaglio
    signed 2019-02-26 17:46:03 -0500
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