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

Victor Escobar
Kirsten Gartner
John St. Lawrence
David Egan
Kristen Morrison
Kristina Gray Counts
Rinad Karim
Renee de la Prade
Margaret Eileen Golby
Elaine M Wilson Wilson
Carla Neal
Sheila Mandell
nina riddel
Madison Cordura
K H
Alison Bancroft
Jeanne Novosel
elizabeth tomlinson
Ahmed Thahir
Roderick Burrell
Nathan Fleming
Tristan Roch-Desparois
Linette Schreiber
Gabrielle Robbins
Jillian Nelson
Bill Ivey
Tara Stone
Lyn Mikel Brown
Barbara Blundell
2,905 signatures

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Comments

  • Victor Escobar
    signed 2019-02-22 19:12:42 -0500
  • Kirsten Gartner
    signed 2019-02-22 19:08:39 -0500
  • John St. Lawrence
    signed 2019-02-22 19:00:57 -0500
  • David Egan
    signed 2019-02-22 18:55:16 -0500
  • Kristen Morrison
    signed 2019-02-22 17:31:16 -0500
    Do not continue to enable this abuse!
  • Kristina Gray Counts
    signed 2019-02-22 17:27:59 -0500
  • Rinad Karim
    signed 2019-02-22 17:25:14 -0500
  • Renee de la Prade
    signed 2019-02-22 17:10:47 -0500
  • Margaret Eileen Golby
    signed 2019-02-22 17:06:35 -0500
    Margaret Eileen Golby
  • Elaine M Wilson Wilson
    signed 2019-02-22 16:47:59 -0500
  • Carla Neal
    signed 2019-02-22 14:54:49 -0500
    Stop supporting anti-women and girls technology!
  • Sheila Mandell
    signed 2019-02-22 14:23:02 -0500
  • nina riddel
    signed 2019-02-22 14:14:10 -0500
  • Madison Cordura
    signed 2019-02-22 13:57:35 -0500
  • K H
    signed 2019-02-22 13:51:08 -0500
  • Alison Bancroft
    signed 2019-02-22 13:48:02 -0500
  • Jeanne Novosel
    signed 2019-02-22 13:42:19 -0500
  • elizabeth tomlinson
    signed 2019-02-22 13:40:32 -0500
    elizabeth tomlinson
  • Ahmed Thahir
    signed 2019-02-22 13:28:33 -0500
  • Roderick Burrell
    @roderickburrell tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-22 13:15:37 -0500
    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=744903
  • Roderick Burrell
    signed 2019-02-22 13:15:19 -0500
  • Nathan Fleming
    signed 2019-02-22 13:13:08 -0500
  • Tristan Roch-Desparois
    signed 2019-02-22 13:11:17 -0500
    Tristan Roch-Desparois
  • Linette Schreiber
    signed 2019-02-22 13:08:39 -0500
  • Gabrielle Robbins
    signed 2019-02-22 13:01:52 -0500
    Google and Apple, you are complicit in oppressing/terrorizing women and making violence against women easy.
  • Jillian Nelson
    signed 2019-02-22 12:58:22 -0500
  • Bill Ivey
    signed 2019-02-22 12:43:52 -0500
  • Tara Stone
    signed 2019-02-22 12:43:23 -0500
  • Lyn Mikel Brown
    signed 2019-02-22 12:40:50 -0500
    Lyn Mikel Brown
  • Barbara Blundell
    signed 2019-02-22 12:39:42 -0500
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