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

Faith Scimone
Merrill Cole
Elaine Robinson
Johanna Drouet
Lori Freudenberg
Morgan Dambergs
Jack Amala
Amy Steele
Thomas Christen
Mia Aron
Inge Stark
Roberta Frye
Haya Erez
Allen Olson
Sue Lenaerts
Ryan Feeney
Justice Hudson
John Merrick
Ida Green
Marjorie Wisor
Anne Martin Phelan
Ed O'Melia
Marian Klostermann
Bert Huisman
Victoria Peyser
Toni Deslaurier
Cameron Taharah
Kathleen Sadler
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Comments

  • ladyfaith
    @ladyfaith tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-22 12:39:39 -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=721088
  • Faith Scimone
    signed 2019-02-22 12:39:24 -0500
  • Merrill Cole
    signed 2019-02-22 12:39:23 -0500
  • Elaine Robinson
    signed 2019-02-22 12:39:16 -0500
  • Johanna Drouet
    signed 2019-02-22 11:45:10 -0500
  • Lori Freudenberg
    signed 2019-02-22 11:36:53 -0500
    Lori Freudenberg
  • Morgan Dambergs
    signed 2019-02-22 11:01:16 -0500
  • Jack Amala
    signed 2019-02-22 10:34:02 -0500
    Stop supporting the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia, and everywhere!
  • Amy Steele
    signed 2019-02-22 10:26:34 -0500
  • Thomas Christen
    signed 2019-02-22 08:38:36 -0500
  • Mia Aron
    signed 2019-02-22 06:41:25 -0500
    Google— be a paragon! Don’t just sell out to the highest bidder
  • Inge Stark
    signed 2019-02-22 01:27:22 -0500
  • Roberta Frye
    signed 2019-02-22 00:05:01 -0500
    Roberta Frye
  • Haya Erez
    signed 2019-02-21 23:43:44 -0500
  • Allen Olson
    signed 2019-02-21 23:14:16 -0500
  • Sue Lenaerts
    @suelenaerts tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-21 21:48:41 -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=698914
  • Sue Lenaerts
    signed 2019-02-21 21:48:26 -0500
  • Ryan Feeney
    signed 2019-02-21 19:27:56 -0500
  • Justice Hudson
    signed 2019-02-21 19:09:18 -0500
  • John Merrick
    signed 2019-02-21 19:03:33 -0500
  • Ida Green
    signed 2019-02-21 16:36:03 -0500
    Ida Green
  • Marjorie Wisor
    signed 2019-02-21 16:34:26 -0500
    Marjorie Wisor
  • Anne Martin Phelan
    signed 2019-02-21 14:38:57 -0500
  • Ed O'Melia
    signed 2019-02-21 14:26:54 -0500
  • Marian Klostermann
    signed 2019-02-21 14:24:31 -0500
    Klostermann
  • Bert Huisman
    signed 2019-02-21 13:18:15 -0500
  • Victoria Peyser
    signed 2019-02-21 10:32:01 -0500
    Victoria Peyser
  • Toni Deslaurier
    signed 2019-02-21 10:29:07 -0500
  • Cameron Taharah
    signed 2019-02-21 10:28:18 -0500
  • Kathleen Sadler
    signed 2019-02-21 09:22:01 -0500
    Sister Kathleen Sadler
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