When women’s rights activist Wajiha Al-Huwaidar flew out of Saudi Arabia last week for a holiday in Italy with her family, she was hoping for a brief respite from what she describes as the ‘gender apartheid kingdom.’
She wasn’t so lucky. As she left, her husband received an automated SMS text message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informing him that his wife, legally considered his ‘dependant’ under Saudi Arabia’s strict gendered guardianship system, had left the country.
“It is sad how Saudis use technology in a way not intended to be used for,” she told The Media Line. “In Saudi Arabia, technology brings more restrictions and misery! They use it to have more control over people’s lives, especially women.”