When it comes to the repression of women, you'd be hard pressed to find a more misogynistic place than Saudi Arabia. Women there are, among other things, prohibited from voting (until 2015), driving a car and working in most places.
To leave the country, Saudi women must present written permission from their male guardians, even if they're traveling together. Now, to add insult to injury, male guardians will also receive a text message whenever "their" women leave the country.
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The kingdom's interior ministry introduced the electronic tracking system back in April in an effort to create a modern e-government plan that would eliminate the infamous permission slip. Texts were originally sent to male guardians who opted into the system, but now are being sent to all and sundry.
"Apparently, as a Saudi woman, I don't even deserve the simplest of
rights like the right to privacy," Safa Alahmad, a freelance journalist and filmmaker protested to the Guardian. "The core issue remains the same. Saudi
women are viewed and treated as minors by the Saudi government."
Yet the new system doesn't only apply to women. Male guardians are also alerted when their "dependents," such as foreign workers and children of both sexes, leave the country.
How long before the Saudi government implants microchips in women remains to be seen. But considering the government's penchant for treating women like dogs and that this most recent e-initiative was done in the name of streamlined modernity, a mircrochipped tracking system doesn't seem too far off.