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Posted at 2:55 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

International Women's Day Egyptian march met by men

By Melissa Bell
women protest
Women protest at a rally against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on Feb. 1. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Less than three weeks ago, an article appeared in The Washington Post discussing the achievements of women in Egypt during the revolution.

"Women think as differently as they dress here, but they have emerged from the barricades agreeing on one thing: This is their moment in history, and they cannot afford to lose it," wrote The Post's Kathy Lally from Cairo.

The tentative advancements Egyptian women thought they had made during the protests faltered Tuesday. According to Twitter reports from Cairo, a march planned for Tahrir Square in honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day was met by an even larger crowd of men deriding the women for being there and harassing them.

An Egyptian journalist, Ethar El-Katatney, wrote on Twitter, "Was just ranted at by a 'sheikh' telling me to go home and raise my kids." She reported that only a few hundred women had come to what they had been calling the Million Woman March but that thousands of men appeared in the square.

Across the planet, and before the news of the counter protest broke, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a message for Egypt: "They have now insisted that their voices be heard. And in the coming months and years, the women in Egypt and Tunisia and other nations have just as much right as the men to remake their governments - to make them responsive, accountable, transparent."

Here's other responses from Twitter:

So, anti demo logic was as follows: Women aren't allowed on the streets, but if they are then touch and grab them. #iwd #Egypt #WomensRightsless than a minute ago via web

They chanted a variation of a revolutionary slogan: "The people want to bring down the women." Classy, guys.less than a minute ago via HootSuite

Participation of women in continued protests & strikes will secure their rights in this revolution. What happened today shouldnt set us backless than a minute ago via Echofon

I am so disgusted by the news about wht happened in Tahrir today, this is totally against everything we have been fighting for #jan25 #Egyptless than a minute ago via web

Encircled by men, yelling "out." Told me I'm "spreading lies." Cam almost taken. @ShereefAbbas and @hishamkassem got me out safely. #Egyptless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Got to #Tahrir 30 minutes ago - to catch a group of women being massively harrassed by the mob. Will #Egypt ever change? #a7aless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

(H/T Carl)

By Melissa Bell  | March 8, 2011; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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For the Middle East to have true democracy and freedom, Arab and Muslim Men must learn to accept women as equal partners. No religious or cultural excuses should be made or tolerated...

Posted by: Obamarama1 | March 8, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

International Sexist Day

Posted by: tedthorne | March 8, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The facts speak for themselves.

Posted by: voice02 | March 8, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

They weren't stoned to death, I'd call that progress!

Posted by: ozpunk | March 8, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

...and the other gender...when does IT get some celebratory "Day of MEN"?

When you speak equity, you get equity!

and similarly:

When you speak favoritism towards women, Men show up and remind you that it's about equality, and not women taking over, as they seem to have in the west.

When was the last time you saw an ad for a men-only event, and then remind yourself how often women hold these exclusively female events - always.

that's not parity, that's the sanme thing you complained about men, and you're doing it yourselves.

SHAME on women.

So kudos to those who share the world with women unequally, according to their very mantra.

In the USA, women have all the rights and men get squat. It's ruining men's lives, the way these parasitic people get laws passed to basically strangle men financially and emotionally.

Yeah, I was really happy and celebrating when my ex-wife delivered me the "I'm sorry", and "you're screwed" speech in the same day, as she handed me the papers that said I would support heer lazyt ass the rest of her days.]

THAT isn't equality, it's a fleecing of men.

So sorry I don't support your delusion: I think the Mid-east has bigger problems to solve. Women's rights aren't one of them, but they can be and you can be just as screwed in the mideast as men are in the west.

don't fall for it.

And that's not a definition of equality, it's thet definition of inequality, when women get a 'Womans day', and men .....well we're basically on our own.

so this is what happens when society places the needs of one gender over the other.

and I'd say it isn't really working, and it's getting actually worse.

A big screw-you to feminism - you over-shot your reach and nobody save the state will be your protectorate.

Individual Men certainly won't, after feminism has ruined the family in the WEST.

So don't go looking for any male support when it's basically all about poor, little you.

Not men's rights - no, that's quite unimportant to you, I'm sure.

Posted by: pgibson1 | March 8, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

When was the last time you saw an ad for a men-only event

Whatever happened to Promise Keepers, anyway?

Posted by: SportzNut21 | March 8, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

When Lara Logan was assaulted you had all the Egyptian women coming out and saying "I was in Tahrir, I never was groped, I never saw one person being harassed, I felt so safe." It seems they have more in common with Ms. Logan than they realized.

Posted by: beet | March 8, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

This is all part of the counter-revolution and one issue that combines very different groups. Egypt has seen thugs attacking protestors, church burning, and harassment of women, all in the same week as the exposure of the real heart of the old regime, i.e the secret police and security apparatus. That is the center of the old hegemony, the glue that kept it together. Now the time has come for those involved in the old regime to fight back; why should they give up the power and enslavement of a whole people? They are acting no different than what Qaddafi is doing to his people, each in his own field and unfortunately the military is watching perhaps because its leadership is also part of the old regime even though they may want to move out and forward because the rest of the army is part of the wider movement. What was particularly disturbing about this week's events is the combination of national party goonies and extreme Muslim extremists and also Coptic extremists from Egypt and outside Egypt, each with their own agenda, opportunistic and non-caring of the consequences. Civil War would be a Nirvana for the old regime and for these groups who would hope to gain something, power, territory, like vultures. Women have won a lot in this revolution, but not rights, they already won that by the fact that they already constitute a significant percentage of the beak-earners and workers in Egypt. That is why they were so able to participate in revolution. They won recognition of Egypt and the world for a position they already enjoyed. It is this recognition and realization that scares the conservatives and gives the old regime a chance to combine and manipulate all these fears.

Posted by: bondoqa | March 10, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

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