Saudi Arabia, a country seen as conservative, has done what probably no other countries in the world have done: Granting citizenship – which is a prized citizenship to own since it is limited to Saudi bord citizens – to a robot.
Sophia the robot already appears to have more rights than the country’s women, and this is sparking a row on Twitter.
The corny situation is seen as hilarious by Saudi Arabian citizens and others, who have taken to the social media site to voice their opinion on the robot citizen.
Sophia was created by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics and it appeared at a technology conference in Saudi’s capital, Riyadh, reported The Independent in the UK.
People are posting messages questioning why the robot has the right to be on stage, without the permission of a male guardian, with its head and body uncovered.
One woman tweeted: “Sophia, the first robot to be granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia, has more rights than the human women there. Strike anyone else as odd?”
Another user wrote: “I’m wondering if robot Sophia can leave Saudi Arabia without her guardian consent! Since she’s officially Saudi.”
In Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system, every woman must have a male guardian, a husband or relative, who has the authority to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf.
During her display on stage, the robot said: “I’m very honoured and proud for this unique distinction.
”This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognised with a citizenship.“
Women are required to receive guardian approval to get married, apply for a passport, travel outside the country and study abroad on a government scholarship.
However, Saudi Arabian women are rising as stars on Instagram with their video postings, defying the rules, and appearing online without the permission of male guardians.
A movie depicting the life of young Saudi citizens ‘Barakah meets Barakah’ is currently screening on Netflix.
Barakah Meets Barakah is a 2016 Saudi Arabian drama-comedy film directed and written by Mahmoud Sabbagh, a remarkably candid Saudi Arabian love story which uses stabs of acerbic humor as a counterweight to the difficulties the couple face.
It is the story of a guy from the middle class and working for a municipal council, meets a girl from A wealthy family, and they start a romance in a country that frowns upon it.
The girl is actually an Instagram star in the story.