More than a thousand people marched in Downtown Cairo on Friday to mark International Women’s Day, marching from Tala’at Harb Square to the High Court. The protesters demanded rights for women in Egypt.
The majority of the march was made up of women, but many men attended in solidarity with the cause. A huge picture of activist Samira Ibrahim showing her as part of the Uprising of Arab Women campaign was hung up overlooking the square. Ibrahim was in the United States to receive the International Women of Courage Award, but the award has been delayed following the emergence of controversial Tweets.
The numbers increased steadily and when protesters filled the square the march began to move. As the march progressed, numbers increased to over a thousand people. Amongst the marchers were men and women of different nationalities supporting the same cause.
Amira Mikhail, one of the marchers, said that the march was important because the demands made in the 25 January revolution had not been achieved. She added that the movement for women’s rights in Egypt must continue, emphasising the need for social and political rights.
Ahmed Ezz, a member of the Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment movement, said, “I support human rights and right now women in Egypt are not treated as humans”. He said that members of his movement had attended the march as individuals rather than as a group. He added, “Due to the situation in Egypt right now this march is not just about the rights of women, it is more political”.
The march had a political tone, with marchers calling for the downfall of the regime, President Mohamed Morsi, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The march continued towards the High Court where the group occupied the entire road as the chants continued.
International Women’s Day began in the early 1900’s and is now an official holiday in some countries, including Afghanistan, China and Russia.