Hundreds of protesters, predominantly women, marched from Sayeda Zeinab to Tahrir Square in solidarity with women who been victims of sexual harassment.
Protesters chanted slogans opposing President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as they moved towards Tahrir Sqaure. Several banners featuring historical Egyptian women were raised during the march. The banners included singer Om Kalthoum and feminist Hoda Sha’arawy.
The march comes after previous days witnessed a significant increase in sexual harassment incidents. Nineteen sexual harassment cases were reported on 25 January.
Dina Rafeq, a 22 year-old human rights activist participating in the march said the Muslim Brotherhood are paying men to attack women participating in demonstrations against them in order to scare women away from demonstrating. “We are protesting today to assert that we are not scared, and that we will never be silenced. We will fight fascism and extremism forever. Morsi and the supreme leader will be punished soon,” she added.
Khairia Abdel Wahab, a 63 year old woman with a leg injury, said she is participating in the march to support Egyptian women in their fight for dignity and equality. “I am 63 already, what would they do to me? If they want to rape or kill me so be it, but those young brave girls will never back down.”
The protest was guarded by members of the Shoft Taharosh (I have seen harassment) anti-harassment campaign, who prevented most men from walking alongside women in the march. The guards allowed only families of participating women to join the march and formed human chains between women protesters and bystanders.
Khaleel Mohsen, a worker who was passing by the march, described protesters as “traitors”, claiming that they are seeking the departure of Morsi to elect a secular president. Mohsen said that protesters deserve to be harassed, when he knew that the march is opposing sexual harassment.
Other bystanders saluted protesters. One described them as “women worth hundreds of men”.
Notably, a branch of the Al-Tawheed Wal Nour chain of shops in Sayeda Zeinab, which is owned by an Islamist figure, was closed when the march passed it. The store opened its doors once the march left the street.