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Egypt: Women Rally for Dignity

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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.

Female protesters gather at #tahrir square, photo shared by yasmine el rashidi

Female protesters gather at #Tahrir Square, photo shared by Yasmine El Rashidi

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]:

#womenmarch #Tharir عند نقابة الصحفيين والهتاف الشعب يريد اسقاط المشير. والعدد كبير فشخ عدى 7000
@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.

Photo by abdeltwab hassan featuring young men surrounding the female protesters shared on twitpic

Photo by Abdeltwab Hassan featuring young men surrounding the female protesters shared on Twitpic

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:ثورة ثورة حتي النصر … الستات هتحرر مصر
@WessamAbdrabo Revolution, revolution until victory…women will free Egypt

@loolyez: Banat masr khat 2a7mar banat masr khat 2a7mar #womenmarch

@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 is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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