Politics: Saudi Arabia: women tracked electronically – husbands notified of border crossings
Published by: Robert Laurie on Friday November 23rd, 2012
By ROBERT LAURIE – Saudi men wouldn’t want their wives running away, would they?
If you’re a woman living in a country where you can’t travel, have few rights, and are generally treated like property, there’s a good chance you might try to leave. At least, that’s the case in Saudi Arabia, a nation Thompson Reuters ranked second to last in terms of women’s rights. The problem is, when Saudi women get fed up with being treated no better than the cars they’re not allowed to drive, they try to escape.
According to Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Sharia law, women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without consent from their male guardians. The man must sign what’s called a “yellow sheet” which allows females to cross the border. Faced with abusive, control freak husbands and fathers, some women try to get away on their own.
As a result, Al Arabiya is reporting that the Saudi version of big brother has had to find a way to keep them in line.
Late last week, the government expanded an already existent electronic tracking network so that it will send husbands and fathers text messages if their “possessions” try to leave the country. The previous version of the system was optional, requiring husbands to opt-in. Now, it’s up and running for all dependents.
If a woman, regardless of age, tries to cross a border – whether or not her she has a yellow sheet – her name will be run through a computer and her husband will receive an alert that she’s dared to exercise her free will. Columnist Badriya al-Bishr has described the scheme as exemplary of a ““state of slavery under which women are held” in Saudi Arabia.
So, next time you hear some left-wing talking head on MSNBC crab about the “war on women,” you may want to remind them what such a war really looks like.