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March 11, 2019

Saudi app criticized for feature to control women's travel

By RACHEL LERMAN and AYA BATRAWY
Associated Press

The Saudi government app Absher is mostly a way for people to pay traffic fines and complete other administrative tasks electronically. But one feature isn't sitting well with civil-rights advocates: the ability for men to grant or deny a woman permission to travel.

Regardless of their age, women in Saudi Arabia must have the consent of a male relative to obtain a passport, travel or marry. In the past, a travel permit was a paper document issued by the Interior Ministry and signed by a male relative. The Absher app replaces the need for a paper document.


 
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