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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Saudi Arabia unveils system of electronic tracking for women

Posted by on Nov. 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM
  • 243 Replies

Saudi Arabia unveils system of 'electronic tracking' for women

 

Saudi Arabia has instituted a new system that sends a text message to the "male guardian" of any women who leaves the country. Reports of the new system emerged, ironically, on Thanksgiving Day.

Manal al-Sharif -- who became the symbol of a campaign women's right to drive campaign launched in 2011 -- began posting information of the new system on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

The couple who alerted al-Sharif was travelling toegether. As they did, the husband received a text message from immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.

While details are sketchy, it sounds like the service is not opt-in. Since the husband in the couple above was surprised by the SMS, he didn't have to "sign up" to get the message.

It doesn't seem like the tracking is carried out using a tracking device on the person of the woman, at least. Instead, it seems that the immigration authorities simply text the "guardian male" on record when a woman leaves the country, manually.

Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give her his consent by signing what is known as the “yellow sheet” at the airport or border.

Twitter was set afire with criticism of the new system. Columnist Badriya al-Bishr tweeted “This is technology used to serve backwardness in order to keep women imprisoned. It would have been better for the government to busy itself with finding a solution for women subjected to domestic violence."

Israa tweeted, “Why don’t you cuff your women with tracking ankle bracelets too?”

Hisham tweeted, “If I need an SMS to let me know my wife is leaving Saudi Arabia, then I’m either married to the wrong woman or need a psychiatrist."

Another tweet suggested -- jokingly mind you -- what would be the automated version of the system: “Why don’t we just install a microchip into our women to track them around?”

As Islamic country, Saudi Arabia uses a strict interpretation of sharia. It is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, which is why Manal al-Sharif became part of a pro-driving campaign for women.

Now seen as an activist in Saudi Arabia, al-Sharif did not start the campaign, but instead became a symbol after a video showing her driving was posted to YouTube and Facebook.

She was filmed by Wajeha al-Huwaider, a women's rights activist who had previously filmed herself driving. After the video was uploaded, al-Sharif arrested and released on May 21, 2011, but then rearrested on the following day.

She was not released until May 30, on bail and with the condition that she return for questioning if asked, that she not drive again, and that she not speak to the media.

by on Nov. 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM
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Replies (1-10):
futureshock
by Ruby Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM

wow

As Islamic country, Saudi Arabia uses a strict interpretation of sharia. It is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, which is why Manal al-Sharif became part of a pro-driving campaign for women.

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow how sad and scary that these people are our allies.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM
1 mom liked this

BUMP!

Edited to add:

I am quite astonised at the profound lack of respect and arrogance shown by some posters in this thread who are directly telling a woman who is from and who lived in Saudi Arabia, that she is wrong or ignorant about the conditions on the ground - what in practice actually happens, despite what may or may not be allowed in theory.

That's rather like someone from Japan who'd done a 6 week course on American culture trying to tell the moms who actually live in America that they are wrong about what life is like in America for women.

SuperChicken
by on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM
1 mom liked this

I wouldn't be even a little bit shocked to hear that Saudi women were micro chipped, even if the article does say it's a joke. 

Mommy2BeAmy
by Silver Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM
1 mom liked this

LMAO imprisoned women

im from saudia GMAFB 

People over there think its crazy men can up and leave women and vice versa and not pay child support. They think we are backwards people because women kill their babies before birth. There's a list of why Americans are crazy loose backwards country so why should I be surprised Americans think the same about them. 

Mommy2BeAmy
by Silver Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM
1 mom liked this

Also, Saudi Arabia unveiling anything? Hey that's a step forward don't ya think? Lol 

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:43 PM

but the men in the country can go anywhere they want and do anything they want. Hell if they don't like their wife any more than can make up some bull shit and have her arrested. sick really.

Quoting Mommy2BeAmy:

LMAO imprisoned women

im from saudia GMAFB 

People over there think its crazy men can up and leave women and vice versa and not pay child support. They think we are backwards people because women kill their babies before birth. There's a list of why Americans are crazy loose backwards country so why should I be surprised Americans think the same about them. 


tooptimistic
by Kelly on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Being from Saudi, you are ok with husbands/ male guardians  tracking females?

Quoting Mommy2BeAmy:

LMAO imprisoned women

im from saudia GMAFB 

People over there think its crazy men can up and leave women and vice versa and not pay child support. They think we are backwards people because women kill their babies before birth. There's a list of why Americans are crazy loose backwards country so why should I be surprised Americans think the same about them. 


Paperfishies
by Silver Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 12:54 PM
4 moms liked this
This shouldn't be any surprise. Women are treated as property there. Hey you track your woman just like you would track your ill-behaving dog.
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SlingsAndThings
by Bronze Member on Nov. 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM
1 mom liked this
With all the modern technology today I'm actually surprised it took them this long. Very sad and very paranoid. I agree with the tweet stating if you need this you either married the wrong woman it you need a psychologist. Though I tend to believe if a woman is miserable enough to want to flee a country its not her fault

How pathetic
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