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

Martha Goodale
Rudy Zeller
Morgan Clark
Alice Valentine
Janice Brown
Devoss Carol
Joan Kincaid
Nixi Otemba Bongers
Damien Coyle
Theodore Voth
Ruth Sheridan
Kelly Inman
Robin Jenkins
Mary Jones-Giampalo
Raul Anorve
Marguerite Boyens
jan-peter flack
Martin O'Donnell
Richard Booth
Pat Rolston
Chantal Dubeck
Filomena Rocha
Therese Chatelain
Tracy Cole
William Thomas
Katy White
Aggie Monfette
Sharon Longyear
Elise Cleva
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Comments

  • Martha Goodale
    signed 2019-02-15 10:06:27 -0500
  • Rudy Zeller
    signed 2019-02-15 10:06:01 -0500
  • Morgan Clark
    signed 2019-02-15 10:05:48 -0500
  • Alice Valentine
    signed 2019-02-15 10:05:42 -0500
  • Janice Brown
    signed 2019-02-15 10:05:39 -0500
  • Devoss Carol
    signed 2019-02-15 10:04:49 -0500
  • Joan Kincaid
    signed 2019-02-15 09:52:43 -0500
    No male domination of women!
  • Nixi Otemba Bongers
    signed 2019-02-15 04:13:22 -0500
    Nixi Otemba
  • Damien Coyle
    signed 2019-02-15 03:08:39 -0500
    Damien Coyle
  • Theodore Voth
    signed 2019-02-15 03:02:49 -0500
  • Ruth Sheridan
    signed 2019-02-15 00:48:27 -0500
  • Kelly Inman
    signed 2019-02-15 00:34:40 -0500
  • Robin Jenkins
    signed 2019-02-14 23:43:04 -0500
    Mistake.
  • Mary Jones-Giampalo
    signed 2019-02-14 23:11:31 -0500
  • Raul Anorve
    @AnorveRaul tweeted link to this page. 2019-02-14 22:23:46 -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=348931
  • Raul Anorve
    signed 2019-02-14 22:23:34 -0500
    Raul Anorve
  • Marguerite Boyens
    signed 2019-02-14 21:00:35 -0500
  • jan-peter flack
    signed 2019-02-14 20:04:53 -0500
  • Martin O'Donnell
    signed 2019-02-14 19:38:54 -0500
  • Richard Booth
    signed 2019-02-14 19:25:56 -0500
    Richard Booth
  • Pat Rolston
    signed 2019-02-14 19:23:43 -0500
  • Chantal Dubeck
    signed 2019-02-14 19:22:08 -0500
    Chantal Dubeck
  • Filomena Rocha
    signed 2019-02-14 19:20:22 -0500
    Filomena Rocha
  • Therese Chatelain
    signed 2019-02-14 19:11:24 -0500
    I own an Apple device. I do not wish to be complicit in restricting Saudi women their rights to independent living. Keeping this app. could be unhealthy for your business.
  • Tracy Cole
    signed 2019-02-14 19:08:34 -0500
  • William Thomas
    signed 2019-02-14 18:47:10 -0500
    Enough of Saudi violations of human rights!
  • Katy White
    signed 2019-02-14 18:24:11 -0500
    We need to promote peace not war
  • Aggie Monfette
    signed 2019-02-14 18:11:27 -0500
  • Sharon Longyear
    signed 2019-02-14 17:59:31 -0500
    Sharon Longyear
  • Elise Cleva
    signed 2019-02-14 17:56:09 -0500
    Elise Cleva
//
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