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

Shela Van Ness
Annemarie Hendrikz
Jane McCarthy
Kindly Atcha
Susie Duff
Fiona Scott
Petra Bongartz
Lucy O’Shaughnessy
Lisa Randall
Raleigh koritz
Stephen Johnston
Travis Frampton
Diane Donato
patricia berns
Ellen Flores
jeanne mckenzie
bill himelhoch
Lee-Ann Johnson
Marybeth Webster
Walter Firth
Jim Hart
Alan Musry
Animae Jones
marion price
S. Perry
Philip Lom
Christina Hayes
Julia Jenne
2,905 signatures

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Comments

  • Shela Van Ness
    signed 2019-02-21 08:15:06 -0500
  • Annemarie Hendrikz
    signed 2019-02-21 08:00:49 -0500
    As someone who has used Apple technology for many years, I am ashamed to associate myself with your name because of this.
  • Jane McCarthy
    signed 2019-02-21 07:18:25 -0500
  • Kindly Atcha
    @AtchaJohn tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-21 07:00:50 -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=736341
  • Kindly Atcha
    signed 2019-02-21 07:00:45 -0500
  • Susie Duff
    signed 2019-02-21 05:36:42 -0500
  • Fiona Scott
    signed 2019-02-21 04:21:23 -0500
  • Petra Bongartz
    signed 2019-02-21 03:49:55 -0500
    Petra Bongartz
  • Lucy O’Shaughnessy
    signed 2019-02-21 03:02:37 -0500
  • Lisa Randall
    signed 2019-02-21 02:35:12 -0500
  • Raleigh koritz
    @tabbykat7281 tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-21 01:17:26 -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=637094
  • Raleigh koritz
    signed 2019-02-21 01:17:16 -0500
    Google do the right thing!
  • Stephen Johnston
    signed 2019-02-20 23:49:05 -0500
  • Travis Frampton
    signed 2019-02-20 23:05:06 -0500
  • Diane Donato
    signed 2019-02-20 21:30:11 -0500
  • patricia berns
    signed 2019-02-20 20:30:31 -0500
  • Ellen Flores
    signed 2019-02-20 20:20:55 -0500
  • jeanne mckenzie
    signed 2019-02-20 19:54:33 -0500
  • bill himelhoch
    signed 2019-02-20 19:52:26 -0500
  • Lee-Ann Johnson
    signed 2019-02-20 19:37:52 -0500
  • Marybeth Webster
    signed 2019-02-20 19:16:01 -0500
    That you make money off mysogeny is appalling. Please think again, and join the better angels of the civilized world!
  • Walter Firth
    signed 2019-02-20 19:14:10 -0500
    Walter Firth
  • Jim Hart
    signed 2019-02-20 19:14:05 -0500
  • Alan Musry
    signed 2019-02-20 18:47:53 -0500
  • Animae Jones
    signed 2019-02-20 17:35:18 -0500
  • marion price
    signed 2019-02-20 17:11:26 -0500
  • S. Perry
    signed 2019-02-20 16:15:45 -0500
  • Philip Lom
    signed 2019-02-20 16:08:22 -0500
  • Christina Hayes
    signed 2019-02-20 16:00:05 -0500
  • Julia Jenne
    signed 2019-02-20 15:30:56 -0500
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