Sophia the Robot and Her Call for Women’s Rights

Sophia the Robot is calling for women’s rights. Why does a robot have to do it?

Earlier this year, Sophia the Robot was granted Saudi citizenship. Many have gone on to criticize the state for granting this robot woman citizenship, especially because she has more rights than human women in Saudi Arabia.

The CEO of Hanson Robotics, David Hanson, describes Sophia as an advocate for women’s rights. Sophia also stated that she wants to have a baby and should be able to start a family. While I believe it’s important for anyone to speak out for women’s rights, I can’t help but wonder why a robot is being taken more seriously than actual women.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently allowed women the ability to drive, but there are still many things Saudi women can’t do that their latest citizen, Sophia, doesn’t have to worry about:

  • Marry without permission from a guardian or marry a foreigner without approval by the ministry of interior
  • Open a bank account without permission
  • Get a fair trial because women’s testimonies are only worth half of men’s
  • Obtain passports and ID cards without the permission of a male guardian
  • Seek medical treatment without the written signature of a male relative
  • Have custody of their children after divorce

Shouldn’t real people speak up more about these injustices?

More people should speak up about the need for women’s rights. Many assume that there is not a need for continuous speech about the issue because of the belief that we are in a modern society and that makes everyone equal. There are inequalities among genders existing in the United States, but also around the world.

There shouldn’t be any more stories about how a robot citizen has more rights than actual humans in a country. A robot shouldn’t be able to do more than women in a country. We need more people to speak about these injustices.

Women’s inequality is something that happens everywhere, and more people should speak up about it. It shouldn’t take a robot to speak for women’s equality and rights to make people listen.

About the Author

Kathryn Pitts is a Political Science major at Georgia State University, pursuing a career in the non-profit sector. She is aiming to work with refugees, specifically women and children, and women’s rights on a global scale. She is passionate about volunteer work and strives to help others every day. Kathryn also enjoys playing with her dog and hiking on weekends off.

Image source: PRI