Is the Saudi Government Tracking its Women With GPS?

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: November 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

saudi womenOnce upon a time tracking devices used to be the preserve of spy movies.  They'd be placed underneath a car on in someones jacket to ensure that they could be monitored at all times.  Of course the plot of these movies would dictate that often these devices would end up tracking the wrong people, but there you go.

Such devices have however been creeping into more mainstream use over the last few years.  It's possible for instance to track where your pet currently is, and there are even devices that can tell you where your children currently are.

Most of these devices however are in use in situations where one party have a paternal interest in the wellbeing of the other.  If news reports are to be believed however, the Saudi government are taking things a step too far.

The reports suggest that the Saudi government are using GPS tracking devices to allow husbands to keep track of their wives whereabouts.  It's emerged that Saudi women's male 'guardians' have been receiving text messages on their phones if the women leave the country.

The culture in Saudi Arabia dictates that women are not allowed to drive, and pertinently, not allowed to travel abroad without their male companion.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

The husband of the couple received a text message from immigration authorities alerting him to the fact that his wife had just left the airport in Riyadh.  Of course it wasn't a surprise to him as he was sat next to her on the plane, but the invasion of privacy and on womens rights is shocking nonetheless.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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