Target: Saudi Minister of Interior, Muhammad bin Nayef
Goal: End surveillance system used by Saudi government to monitor women
The government of Saudi Arabia recently implemented an electronic system that tracks the cross-border movements of Saudi women. The system functions by sending a text message to the woman’s husband, father, brother, or even minor son. A text is sent even when the woman is travelling with one of the aforementioned male guardians.
This is not unprecedented — the Saudi Government is notorious for its oppression of women and for denying them even the most basic rights. Women are banned from driving as well as from most workplaces. Women are also discouraged from participating in sports. Saudi women must get formal approval from their guardians to travel abroad and must hand in an infamous “yellow slip” signed by a male at the airport or border. This new electronic monitoring system adds another level of humiliation to the experience of being a woman in Saudi Arabia and demonstrates that the Saudi government believes women do not deserve the most basic right to privacy.
Women are effectively treated like children under Saudi law. Men have the right to approve or reject a woman’s decision to travel, work, marry, conduct official business, and even to receive healthcare. Now the government has implemented technology to improve these repressive policies and ensure men the ability to surveil women more effectively. The use of this technology is totalitarian and sexist and it should not be accepted. Tell the Saudi government to stop the surveillance of women.
Dear Minister Muhammad bin Nayef,
As Saudi Minister of the Interior, you have recently overseen the implementation of an electronic system designed to monitor the cross-border travel of Saudi women. The use of such technology for the surveillance of women is repressive and disrespects their privacy.
Saudi women are tired of being treated like children. Recent organized acts of defiance, such as women uploading videos of themselves defying the ban on driving, speak to this. Women should not require the supervision of men simply to travel. This is demeaning to all women, and especially to women who hold professional positions and travel for their work. The fact that a woman’s minor son could be alerted via text message simply because his mother has decided to travel is ridiculous.
This is only one of the totalitarian policies the Saudi government has imposed against the women of its country, but it stands out as particularly intrusive. I ask that you see to the dismantlement of this technology and that you ensure that Saudi women are allowed basic privacy rights.
[Your Name Here]
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