Saudi Arabia: An app to track women

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Saudi women cross a street in Hofuf city, 250 kms east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, 22 November 2007. A Saudi woman sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes despite being gang raped has vowed to challenge the ruling in a case that has received wide publicity, embarrassing the Saudi government. AFP PHOTO/HASSAN AMMAR (Photo credit should read HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

A surveillance system has been set up by the Saudi government to control women and prevent them from fleeing the country, known as the ‘Absher’ application, it allows guardians of women (brothers, husbands, and fathers) to track down their movements.

Indeed, Saudi women need permission from their guardians to travel, or even leave the house for any reason, and with the Absher app, men can grant or revoke their permission in a few clicks. The application has a system that sends real-time SMS notifications to guardians, signed by the Ministry of the Interior, when a woman under their guardianship presents a passport at borders or airports.

However, many Saudi women have taken advantage of their holidays abroad to flee, where local authorities are not subject to the same prohibitions, others have in the past stolen their guardian’s smartphone and adjusted the settings in order to escape.

Every year, many women flee Saudi Arabia in search of freedom, but in most cases, fugitives are stranded at the border, while other women succeed and help others who want to leave their country, leading to the development of support networks for women who want to rebuild their lives.

2 Comments

  1. It may be equally important for wives to have the same facility to track their husbands suspicious haram activities and warn them and correct them support divorce by Khula method if they do not change

  2. In his Farewell Sermon delivered shortly before he died in 632, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said to the men,

    “You have certain rights over women but they have certain rights over you.”

    Women, he said, are your “partners and helpers.”

    In one of the sayings of the Hadith, the Prophet (saw) says,

    “The best men are those who are best to their wives.”

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