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Saudi Arabia Implements Electronic Tracking System For Women 591

Posted by timothy
from the our-friends-in-the-middle-east dept.
dsinc writes "Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks 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. 'The authorities are using technology to monitor women,' said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the 'state of slavery under which women are held' in the ultra-conservative kingdom. Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give his consent by signing what is known as the 'yellow sheet' at the airport or border."
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Saudi Arabia Implements Electronic Tracking System For Women

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  • Apartheid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Richard_J_N (631241) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:16PM (#42068855)

    When South Africa did this (to black people, rather than women), under Apartheid, the civilised world rightly condemned it, and imposed trade sanctions.
    Where are the trade embargoes on Saudi Arabia? They're in contravention of the UN declaration of Human Rights.

    • Re:Apartheid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mashiki (184564) <[mashiki] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:19PM (#42068867) Homepage

      Won't happen, and remember this is in accordance with sharia law too. Which is supposed to elevate women above western standards, or so flappy headed groups keep telling us.

      • Re:Apartheid (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:35PM (#42069017)

        Won't happen, and remember this is in accordance with sharia law too. Which is supposed to elevate women above western standards, or so flappy headed groups keep telling us.

        Sure, just like Islam is the "religion of peace" even though, of the 120 or so active shooting wars happening today, Muslims are involved in over 100 of them.

        At least during the Crusades and the Inquisition, nobody went around talking about how the Catholic Church was the "institution of peace". It's like the farther back in time you go, the more sense the average person had.

        • At least during the Crusades and the Inquisition, nobody went around talking about how the Catholic Church was the "institution of peace".

          Pax vobiscum.

        • Re:Apartheid (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:54PM (#42069909)

          I hate to break it to you, but the Christians during the Crusades were the technologically and culturally inferior group. Islamic philosophers were debating Aristotle and inventing things like chemistry, algebra, and hospitals. Christians didn't even know about the Greek philosophers, and when they found out it was because they translated them from Arabic. At which point the religious leaders denounced them and forbid the teaching of them.

          The Muslim world obviously went to shit, but don't pretend that the Christian world wasn't composed of mindless fanatics at many points in history. If the Crusades never happened causing the Muslim world to draw in on itself and become paranoid, the Renaissance probably would have occurred in Baghdad.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Ok, 80-200 years ago: "of the 120 or so active shooting wars happening today, Chirstian are involved in over 100 of them" There is nothing unique in Islam or Christianity that makes them war prone, In fact they are not. These are political/land wars. Where religion is used to motivate people.
        • by sl149q (1537343)

          Orwell described the process in 1984, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink [wikipedia.org].

          You direct people away from what you are doing by simply relabeling it. The "institution of peace" instead of "institution of war" (Orwell's example was Ministry of Peace (war), Ministry of Love (torture), Ministry of Plenty (generally supplying barely enough to keep people from starving.)

      • are you saying its all about the flappy headed Mo's

        (I know, I'm in trouble for that one).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dmbasso (1052166)

        Yep, and the prophet Muhammad is the perfect man, whose acts are a model for all to follow, for all eternity.

        So go ahead and marry a 6 years old girl, wait for her to be 9 or 10, and then you can have sex with her (his dear Aisha).

        Ahh, but she is a girl! That's where the Catholic priests got it wrong! To rape a 10 year old boy is wrong, but if it's a girl it's ok! Allahu akbar!

        Too bad hell is a fictitious place, these people really deserve it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Bengie (1121981)
          To be fair, it was "normal" back then for them to have sex that young. I'm sure 1300 years from now, certain "normal" things that we do today will be looked at as barbaric.
          • Re:Apartheid (Score:4, Informative)

            by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:29PM (#42069757) Homepage

            Not so long years ago girls were getting married in the USA at age 12 or 13.

            Didn't Edgar Allen Poe marry his 13-year-old cousin?

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            I strongly doubt it was ever considered 'normal'. The autonomic empathic response is the natural normal state of human social interaction. An adult raping a child is not 'normal' it is insane, it was always insane, it is crazy to claim an insane act as normal.

            I'll fix it for you, "You could get away with raping child, animals, slaves and, serfs", you could beat slaves and serfs to death for amusement if you were the psychopathic lord of the region. Just because you could get away with this does not make

        • by lucm (889690)

          Too bad hell is a fictitious place

          Clearly you have never visited Laramie, Wyoming, especially during the winter (which lasts about 10.5 months out there)

      • Re:Apartheid (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @07:30PM (#42069373)

        this is in accordance with sharia law too. Which is supposed to elevate women above western standards, or so flappy headed groups keep telling us.

        It is suppossed to. The problem is that men are in charge of the implementation and that's a common problem across the entire world. Regardless of the laws on the books, if the people interpreting them are not representative of the people they are applied to, the end result is going to be biased like health insurance paying for viagra but not birth control pills.

        • Re:Apartheid (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mashiki (184564) <[mashiki] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @11:49PM (#42070787) Homepage

          It is suppossed to. The problem is that men are in charge of the implementation and that's a common problem across the entire world. Regardless of the laws on the books, if the people interpreting them are not representative of the people they are applied to, the end result is going to be biased like health insurance paying for viagra but not birth control pills.

          Really? So I now have two people within a mere 40mins of each other, one saying it does. Another saying it doesn't. Odd. Oh, as for your idea that it does? I take it that you've read that good book, and the various legal documents surrounding sharia. Especially the parts where a women's testimony is worth less than a man's, where rape is the women's fault and so on.

          Don't be naive. It has nothing to do with "men who institute it." The entire system of sharia, is built around oppression, for the sake of oppression.

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          The problem is that men are in charge of the implementation and that's a common problem across the entire world.

          The problem is that Saudi Arabia is home to a particularly shitty and fundamentalist sect of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism or Salafism.

          For example: the Taliban in Afghanistan aren't/weren't Wahhabis/Salafis, but they were educated in Pakistan, through Saudi funded schools pushing Wahhabi/Salafi interpretations of Islam.

          Much of the shit show in the Middle East can be tied one way or another to the virulent fundamentalism rooted in Saudi Arabia.
          /Except for Iran, which is a different branch of Islam, which is

      • Re:Apartheid (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mjwx (966435) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @08:23PM (#42069719)

        Won't happen, and remember this is in accordance with sharia law too. Which is supposed to elevate women above western standards, or so flappy headed groups keep telling us.

        The only idiot who has said Sharia law will elevate women above western standards is you.

        The reason this wont be condemned like Apartheid in South Africa is that Saudi Arabia has oil and South Africa didn't.

        • The only idiot who has said Sharia law will elevate women above western standards is you.

          I assume the GP's statement was sarcastic; in fact he/she was just repeating the official stance of Islam.

    • by tsa (15680) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:33PM (#42068991) Homepage

      I guess we will buy more oil from them in the future. That'll teach them a lesson!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:42PM (#42069059)

      Muslim countries didn't sign UN declaration of Human Rights because they perceived it as not compatible with Islam. Although these countries got own version of Human Rights declaration:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo_Declaration_on_Human_Rights_in_Islam

    • Diversity means accepting a little more than just being served by mustachioed waiters with amusing accents in quaint ethnic restaurants.

    • Re:Apartheid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:47PM (#42069089) Homepage

      Yeah, but we need their oil. Oil is more important that women's rights, obviously.

    • Re:Apartheid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ilguido (1704434) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @07:29PM (#42069367) Homepage
      The sanctions against South Africa had positive effects like devaluing the rand 17 times and so making diamonds much cheaper. Sanctions against Saudi Arabia on the other hand could rise the oil price.
    • by thoth (7907)

      I don't there will be sanctions. Unlike Saudi Arabia, south Africa didn't have a valuable resource the would needs - oil. In this case, economics trumps morality, unfortunately.

  • We need to frack (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Snotnose (212196) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:20PM (#42068875)

    We need to get our fracking industry going full bore, convert all semi's to use it, and get to where we import 0% oil from anywhere. Let China and Russia keep the straights of Hormuz clear. Let the Saudies fall back into the decrepit 3rd world pit it deserves to be.
     

    • by camperdave (969942) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:30PM (#42068965) Journal

      We need to get our fracking industry going full bore, convert all semi's to use it, and get to where we import 0% oil from anywhere. Let China and Russia keep the straights of Hormuz clear. Let the Saudies fall back into the decrepit 3rd world pit it deserves to be.

      No... We need to get our bio-diesel industry going full bore, convert all vehicles to use it, and get to where we import 0% oil from anywhere. Fracking is simply the equivalent to swirling the straw around the bottom of the cup, trying to suck up the last dribbles of milkshake. If you have to frack, the well is dry.

      • bio diesel industry is wrong, the benefits you get are obscured by:
        - food scarcity
        - goverment bonuses to big farmer and big evil (insert monsanto/whatever here)
        - patent trolls
        - CO positive, because mass farming is OIL intensive industry
        - lowest return on the barrel ever
        - ecological destruction of habitats
        etc etc etc... just go read about it!

  • by aglider (2435074) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:29PM (#42068953) Homepage
    Those are electronic devices with some embedded communication device.
    Do you need more fun that that?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:31PM (#42068979)

    The "service" has been in operation since 2010 and it applies to all "dependents" which includes children, contracted laborers, etc. See: http://riyadhbureau.com/blog/2012/11/saudi-women-tracking. As offensive as the Saudi gov't policies are, getting half the story isn't going to help matters.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @06:57PM (#42069151)

    it could actually start a ...

    pussy riot!

    (what? WHAT?? someone had to say it!)

  • Fail. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VAElynx (2001046) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @07:17PM (#42069285)
    I'm no feminist, but this is unjust and stupid
    It's also hilarious how the USA are all over supposed human rights in Russia and Belarus where people live with dignity, and overlook insane places like the Saudi Arabia is.
    • by jcr (53032)

      This isn't even a feminism issue, it's a human rights issue. Only tyrannies interfere with the right of anyone who hasn't committed a crime to leave the country.

      -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @07:35PM (#42069411)

    It may surprise people but.... Saudi has ALWAYS had this system of tracking women.

    As a child, when I left the country to visit my grandparents, accompanied by my mother, we had to be legally escorted to the airport and signed out by my dad, on re-entry we were re-checked into my dad's care.
    We were westerners living under the same rules as the locals. This was as far back as early 80s... the system has been in play forever. This is merely a modernisation of the system. I'm not saying I agree with the practice but, this is hardly headline news as its simply an upgrade to rules and methods for applying those rules that have been in play for a long long time.

    Why is it only now, when computers get involved that people are having issues with the basic concept? It was widely unknown it appears when the system was paperbased.

    Expat Brat.

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @09:32PM (#42070093)

    Women there are treated like children. But we can't get too high and mighty here. Women only got the right to vote in the US in 1920. [wikipedia.org]

    On the other hand, as far as I can tell, never in non-Muslim cultures have women been forced to cover themselves from head to toe, with only their eyes visible. Or not allowed to leave the house without a male custodian. That's a unique curiosity only found in portions of the Muslim world.

  • Dear Muslim world: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @11:22PM (#42070645) Homepage Journal

    as long as you treat half of your society like cattle, you are never going to have a happy, prosperous, or just culture.

    Yes, I know: "honor," "dignity." Well why don't you let your women take care of that for themselves on their own.

    The Chinese, the Indians, the Americans, the Europeans, they will advance. And you will fester. Because of your poor choices.

    Regards,
    the rest of the world

  • by ryzvonusef (1151717) on Friday November 23, 2012 @07:27AM (#42072635) Journal

    ALL dependants are covered: women, Children (both boys and girls) *and* all workers whose work visa you have given.

    If they are on your ID card (women and children don't get separate ID cards) or their Passport (as their "kafeel" caretaker, or visa giver, as it were), you need the Saudi man's permission to leave, and they will now be informed of it.

    I think this system was made for the "worker" part of the category in mind; they want to know where their slaves^H^H^H^H^H^H are going, and if they are escaping. Poor labourers are practically indentured slaves, kept in live via the sword of heavy debt; I have know people try to escape by leaving everything behind with just the clothes on their backs. This is to prevent that.

    Make of it as you will.

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