Saudi Arabia grants robot more rights than women

A robot recently given citizenship in Saudi Arabia has caused a stir after humans realised she may have more rights than women in the country.

Sophia, modelled on actress Audrey Hepburn, was showcased at an economic summit at the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, this week. 

As she stood on stage during a panel the moderator, CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin, told Sophia that Saudi Arabia has granted her "the first Saudi citizenship for a robot".

"I'm very honoured and proud for this unique distinction," Sophia said. "This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognised with a citizenship."

An arm of the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information tweeted support for the robot, welcoming her to the country.

However in a country where female citizens are unable to appear in public without a hijab or male guardian, social media users were quick to point out Sophia appeared at the panel with neither.

Twitter users posted Tweets with an Arabic hashtag translating to "Sophia demands the repeal of guardianship" to highlight how Sophia has been given more freedom than human women in Saudi Arabia.

Another user questioned if Sophia was able to get permission from a male guardian to get her Saudi passport, and if it was delivered to him on her behalf.

"Or is she special and able to handle the procedures on her own?" the user tweeted.