Saudi women have come under even more constraint in the Gulf kingdom with the news that they are being electronically tracked by the authorities so their travel movements can be monitored.

Already denied the right to drive cars alone and to travel without the consent of their male guardians, women are now being electronically monitored to track any cross-border movements.

It is illegal for Saudi women to travel abroad without male accompaniment and can only do so if their guardian agrees by signing a document know as the 'yellow sheet' at an airport or border crossing.

According to press reports, Manal al-Sherif, who highlighted the driving issue in the kingdom last year by urging women to defy the ban, relayed this new information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple who were travelling together.

The husband received a text message on his phone from the immigration authorities telling him that his wife had left Riyadh airport.

Unsurprisingly, the news has aroused some anger on Twitter:


Jonathan Moremi
How sick can it get? - Electronic tracking at border is a new constraint for women


ammaro
As if women didnt have it bad enough, theyre being electronically tracked whenever they try to leave the country


Bayan
: On Being Born with the Wrong Reproductive Parts to Travel Alone: Storytime with Bayan ;)

The monitoring has also been condemned by the writer, Badriya al-Bishr, who described the authorities' actions as 'backward'.

"This technology is the result of a backward mentality that wants to keep us as prisoners," she told Asia News.

Al Arabiya reported that the surveillance was triggered by the escape of a Saudi woman to Sweden earlier this year. She was believed to have converted to Christianity although she later denied this and insisted she wanted to return to Saudi Arabia.

She was helped to leave the country by a Saudi colleague and a Lebanese man who has reportedly since been imprisoned.

The kingdom is governed by strict Sharia law and it was only last year that women were given the right to vote and run for office in municipal elections in 2015.