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

Isobel Stewart
Lucy Hoffman
Nan Markel
David Faust
Rachel Markoff
Rodney Nippert
Denise Romesburg
John Pounds
Danny Dyche
Dan Aurian-Blajeni
Susy McMahan
monroe allison
Carey Creed
Gillian Sobocinski
Brandt Amlie
Jovita Harrah
Helen Evison
Ravenel Staricka
Keith Taylor
Naseema Mall
Alan Martin
John Kelly
Laura Saunders
Margaret Tobin
Michael Hogan
Joe Salazar
Amanda Crawford
Robin Swanson
2,905 signatures

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Comments

  • Isobel Stewart
    signed 2019-02-19 14:37:03 -0500
  • Lucy Hoffman
    signed 2019-02-19 14:34:23 -0500
  • Nan Markel
    signed 2019-02-19 14:32:17 -0500
    Appalling!
  • David Faust
    signed 2019-02-19 14:25:59 -0500
  • Rachel Markoff
    signed 2019-02-19 14:16:38 -0500
  • Rodney Nippert
    signed 2019-02-19 14:15:56 -0500
  • Denise Romesburg
    signed 2019-02-19 13:52:41 -0500
  • John Pounds
    signed 2019-02-19 12:58:58 -0500
  • Danny Dyche
    signed 2019-02-19 11:19:52 -0500
  • Dan Aurian-Blajeni
    signed 2019-02-19 11:02:06 -0500
  • Susy McMahan
    signed 2019-02-19 10:39:09 -0500
    Women in this world have enough intrusuon into their lives. Please remove this app and give women a right to advance and experience lives without fear.
  • monroe allison
    signed 2019-02-19 10:38:48 -0500
    Monroe Allison
  • Carey Creed
    signed 2019-02-19 09:49:28 -0500
  • Gillian Sobocinski
    signed 2019-02-19 09:46:53 -0500
  • Brandt Amlie
    signed 2019-02-19 09:23:44 -0500
  • Jovita Harrah
    signed 2019-02-19 09:19:31 -0500
    I support this action to stop the tracking of women. Anywhere.

    Further, if Google can do this to the women in Saudi Arabia they will certrainly be doing it here and throughout the world.
  • Helen Evison
    signed 2019-02-19 08:52:55 -0500
  • Ravenel Staricka
    signed 2019-02-19 07:33:53 -0500
  • Keith Taylor
    signed 2019-02-19 04:12:50 -0500
  • Naseema Mall
    signed 2019-02-19 03:26:26 -0500
  • Alan Martin
    signed 2019-02-19 00:39:34 -0500
  • John Kelly
    signed 2019-02-18 23:54:29 -0500
  • Laura Saunders
    signed 2019-02-18 23:46:00 -0500
  • Margaret Tobin
    signed 2019-02-18 23:37:57 -0500
  • Michael Hogan
    signed 2019-02-18 23:31:19 -0500
  • Joe Salazar
    @JoeSalazar17 tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-18 23:20:17 -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=44670
  • Joe Salazar
    signed 2019-02-18 23:20:11 -0500
  • @DublinActivist Palestine
    @dublinactivist tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-18 23:12:20 -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=801633
  • Amanda Crawford
    signed 2019-02-18 23:11:55 -0500
    Women are regarded as chattels in Saudi….to be disposed of by men as their “masters” Absolutely DISGUSTING that Google & Apple are facilitating this “bondage” further by this despicable “app” STOP IT!
  • Robin Swanson
    signed 2019-02-18 22:54:00 -0500
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