Egypt: Women Rally for Dignity


Written by Afef Abrougui

Egyptian women took to the streets of Cairo to protest today against women rights violations committed by military officers during the #occupycabinet battle that led to the death of at least 13 protesters over the previous five days.

The protest followed the buzz created by a video that showed men in military uniform, dragging a female protester, exposing her underwear, and beating her in the chest.

For three weeks prior to the clashes between the army and protesters in downtown Cairo, activists have been staging a sit-in outside the Cabinet headquarters, protesting against the military appointment of Kamal El Ganzouri as the new Prime Minister of Egypt earlier this month. The ongoing battle has so far claimed the lives of at least 13 people, leaving hundreds injured as soldiers battled with protesters in and around Tahrir Square since December 16.

Apart from this, the atrocities committed by the soldiers against women shocked the world, prompting Egyptian women to take to the streets and call for dignity today.

Ayman Mohyeldin, NBC News foreign correspondent, tweets:

@AymanM: In #tahrir, a women’s rally in solidarity w female victims attacked by the military #dec17 #egypt

According to Abdeltwab Hassan, about 7,000 women took part in the protests [ar]:

@AbdeltwabH: near the journalists’ headquarters; the slogan is ”people want the overthrow of the Marshal.” The number is big, more than 7,000.

The Marshal is Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the de facto military ruler of Egypt since the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.

Men join women’s cause

Men also joined the protest and formed a human wall to protect the female protesters.

Yasmin Galal notes:

@YasminGalal: Proud of all the men joining Egypt’s #WomenMarch , physical integrity is a right for all Egyptians

And Randa Ali adds:

@randamali: Men and women of all classes, ideologies , ages here! #womenMarch.

Slogans at the march

The protesters were not only chanting slogans in solidarity with their female compatriots, who have been brutally beaten up by soldiers, but were also calling for the fall of military rule in Egypt. Here are some of the slogans chanted, and shared via the hash tag #womenmarch on Twitter.

@Occupy_Tahrir:The protesters are chanting “hold your head high, every part of you is purer than the one who attacked you” #WomenMarch #OccupyCabinet

@MinaNaguib90:Chant: Come out of your homes, Tantawy took off your daughters’ clothes

@WessamAbdrabo Revolution, revolution until victory…women will free Egypt

@loolyez: Egyptian women are a red line, Egyptian women are a red line

@farida904: We weren’t just chanting for ourselves. We were chanting for freedom, social justice and the respect of human dignity #womenmarch #egypt

The following video, uploaded by sawrageya on YouTube, features female protesters calling for Marshal Tantawi to leave.

According to Egyptian @Egyptocracy, who is taking part in the protest, at around 5:15 pm Cairo time, the rally reached the #occupycabinet sit in, and then headed back towards Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the Egyptian revolution, and the site of clashes between protesters and the military for the past five days. She tweets:

@Egyptocracy: 5.55pm: #womenmarch approaching #tahrir.

And adds:

@Egyptocracy: 6.14pm: We are marching in the dark. Lights out in #tahrir. #OccupyCabinet #Egypt

This post was originally published by Global Voices.


Related Stories:

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A Divided Egypt on Eve of Elections

Journalist Mona Eltahawy Assaulted, Beaten in Cairo


Photo from yasminerashidi via yfrog


Ernest R.
Ernest R6 years ago

@ Doranna M. “once all Black people lived there. It was their country until the Arabs took it from them” That is simply not true. In ancient Egyptian paintings we see blacks from Nubia bringing tribute to the rulers of Egypt who were clearly not black. The Grfeedks took over and Cleopatra was Greek. Then the Arabs showed up and forced their new religion, Islam, on everybody. You really should read up on history and drop the racism.

Arild Warud

As they rightly deserve!!

Janet S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thanks for this article. Good wishes to the protestors, may they succeed!

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

Thanks for the article

Ian Fletcher
Ian Fletcher6 years ago

ban all religions and macho behavior

Parvez Zuberi
Parvez Zuberi6 years ago

The memory of the care taker GOVT of Egypt is very short they have forgotten the power and determination of Egyptian people Their brutal act against women should be condemned and people responsible should be punished it is so shame full that a women in hijab was dragged naked my head hang in shame

Carole H.
Carole H6 years ago

What the soldiers did to that young woman was barbaric and showed them for the thugs they are - these women are brave and I am very proud to be a woman and support them wholeheartedly.

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

US should have such a rally.

Shirley M.
Shirley M.6 years ago

Brilliant, courageous women. Blessings on them and the courageous men who stand with them.

Christine Stewart

Those women are so brave- they are risking their lives to stand up for their rights.