Saudi women cannot travel without the consent of their male guardians. They can’t drive. Now, they’re electronically monitored to track any “cross border movements.”
Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.
It even happens if the husband and wife are travelling together.
The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.
This new situation is evidently taking Twitter by storm. Check out the list of tweets on the linked article.
It seems Saudi Arabia has a long way to go before they enter the 21 century.
“Saudi women are treated as minors throughout their lives even if they hold high positions,” said Shemmari, who believes “there can never be reform in the kingdom without changing the status of women and treating them” as equals to men.
But that seems a very long way off.
The kingdom enforces strict rules governing mixing between the sexes, while women are forced to wear a veil and a black cloak, or abaya, that covers them from head to toe except for their hands and faces.
The many restrictions on women have led to high rates of female unemployment, officially estimated at around 30 percent.