'Authorities in Saudi Arabia have created an application that allows male guardians to track their female family members and prevent them from traveling due to a recent rise in the number of women fleeing the oil-rich and ultra-conservative kingdom.
The app, called Absher meaning "Good Tidings" in Arabic, allows men to obtain or revoke their authorization with a few clicks.
Through Absher, men can perform several tasks, such as paying parking fines, renewing driving license, and granting travel permissions to their female “dependents,” such as wives, daughters and sisters.
It is equipped to give a comprehensive readout of each journey a registered woman has made. Her male guardian can anytime access his own travel logs along with those of children and women in the family.
The app also gives men the ability to receive SMS alerts, when one of their female family members shows their passport at the border or at an airport.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior sends the message directly through the application.
According to a report by investigate website the Insider, Saudi women seeking asylum overseas had to resort to stealing their male guardians’ phones to disable the app or to secretly give themselves permission to travel before fleeing the country.
Other women have already tried to change the alert phone number so that tracking SMSs are sent to them rather than their guardians.
American giant technology companies Apple and Google have come under fierce criticism for hosting the application, and have been accused of helping "enforce gender apartheid" as the app is available on Google Play and Apple's App Store.'
Read more: Saudi Arabia creates app for husbands to monitor female family members
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