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

Catherine Mooney
Albert Casanovas
Joziah Thayer
Elinor Dorrian
Elizabeth Fladung
Jason Rabin
Joan Anundson-Ahr
Douglas M. Rose
Andreas Angelakis
Tara Mercer
Soumyajit Pramanick
Michele Blair
Milka Mozes
leslie klein
Rebekkah Jones
Nancy Redman-Furey
Tim Wulling
John Benoit
Steven Sanderson
Eric Steele
Michael Rotcher
Ellen Barfield
sofia okolowicz
Fear Brampton
Lynda Walker
Nadia Saad
Shireen Tawil
Glen Anderson
Don Bisdorf
2,905 signatures

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Comments

  • Catherine Mooney
    signed 2019-02-20 14:40:17 -0500
  • Albert Casanovas
    signed 2019-02-20 13:54:21 -0500
    Women should be free and independent!
  • Joziah Thayer
    @DaPeaple tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-20 13:38:32 -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=697030
  • Joziah Thayer
    signed 2019-02-20 13:37:58 -0500
  • Elinor Dorrian
    signed 2019-02-20 12:10:06 -0500
    Who the Dickens, at Google and Apple actually thought this was a good idea? I’d like names please.
  • Elizabeth Fladung
    signed 2019-02-20 10:00:05 -0500
    Elizabeth L Fladung
  • Jason Rabin
    signed 2019-02-20 08:45:51 -0500
  • Joan Anundson-Ahr
    signed 2019-02-20 08:37:30 -0500
  • Douglas M. Rose
    signed 2019-02-20 08:22:05 -0500
  • Andreas Angelakis
    signed 2019-02-20 08:08:42 -0500
  • Tara Mercer
    signed 2019-02-20 07:32:41 -0500
  • Soumyajit Pramanick
    signed 2019-02-20 06:27:14 -0500
    Soumyajit Pramanick
  • Michele Blair
    signed 2019-02-20 04:27:10 -0500
    This is diabolical patriarchal nonsense. Time for backward regimes to grow up and respect the free will of every adult male and female.
  • Milka Mozes
    signed 2019-02-20 03:08:55 -0500
  • leslie klein
    signed 2019-02-19 23:51:48 -0500
  • Rebekkah Jones
    signed 2019-02-19 22:48:51 -0500
  • Nancy Redman-Furey
    signed 2019-02-19 22:07:28 -0500
  • Tim Wulling
    signed 2019-02-19 20:43:40 -0500
  • John Benoit
    signed 2019-02-19 19:34:30 -0500
  • Steven Sanderson
    signed 2019-02-19 19:16:46 -0500
  • Eric Steele
    signed 2019-02-19 19:03:52 -0500
  • Michael Rotcher
    signed 2019-02-19 18:21:40 -0500
  • Ellen Barfield
    signed 2019-02-19 17:09:49 -0500
  • sofia okolowicz
    signed 2019-02-19 16:53:00 -0500
  • Fear Brampton
    signed 2019-02-19 16:44:18 -0500
  • Lynda Walker
    signed 2019-02-19 16:30:05 -0500
    Jeanette Thornton, Soroptimists International
  • Nadia Saad
    signed 2019-02-19 16:05:39 -0500
  • Shireen Tawil
    signed 2019-02-19 16:04:55 -0500
  • Glen Anderson
    signed 2019-02-19 14:46:20 -0500
    BOYCOTT GOOGLE and APPLE for OPPRESSING WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Don Bisdorf
    signed 2019-02-19 14:39:37 -0500
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