Women harassed at IWD rally in Tahrir Square
Summary of story from womensenews.org 9.3.11
Women attending an International Women’s Day rally in Cairo yesterday were harassed and taunted by hundreds of men.
The organizers of the event were hoping to stage a thousand-strong protest but fewer than 100 women showed up to the rally in Tahrir Square.
Those who did attend were taunted and derided by a large group of men who surrounded the event, some yelling: “The people want to bring women down!”
“I’d like to be able to walk down the streets, free of fear, free of judgment and that’s it,” said Rehaam Romero, a 23-year-old event participant who carried a sign with the words “Equality, Education and Empowerment” and a hand-drawn Egyptian flag.
Women attending the rally eventually dispersed after the military fired shots in the air to break up a fight that had occurred at the edge of the square.
The events in Tahrir Square yesterday were an incredible disappointment for the women involved and the event organizers.
For Aalam Wassef, one of the event’s organizers from the organization Women 4 Democracy, the rally was supposed to symbolize the “New Egypt.”
“During the revolution, we witnessed an amazing sense of unity among the young and old, the rich and poor, Muslim and Christian. But there was something that happened that no one put into words, that men and women had joined together for their freedom,” Wassef said before the rally.
Some believe that the rally was deliberately targeted by Mubarak loyalists who were also reportedly caught causing mischief at Coptic protests held on Tuesday.
Also read the WVoN summary of story from Washington Post here.