“Drag me, strip me! “My brothers’ blood will cover me!” “The girls of Egypt are here!” These are a few of the angry cries heard on the streets of Cairo today, as thousands of female activists took part in what may have been the biggest female demonstration in Egypt’s history.
Recent images showing soldiers beating, stripping and kicking a female demonstrator provoked the ire of the matriarchal mass, sparking the first female-led demonstration to come to fruition since February’s successful ousting of President Mubarak.
The protest clearly had an effect, as Egypt’s ruling military council quickly offered up an apology.
“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces expresses its utmost sorrow for the great women of Egypt, for the violations that took place during the recent events,” the council said in a statement. “It stresses its great appreciation for the women of Egypt and for their right to protest and to actively, positively participate in political life on the path of democratic transition.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was shocked by the recent events.
“Women are being beaten and humiliated in the same streets where they risked their lives for the revolution only a few short months ago,” Mrs. Clinton said. “Women are being attacked, stripped, and beaten in the streets. This systematic degradation of Egyptian women disgraces the state and its uniform.”
14 civilians have been killed this week, and over 700 more were injured in clashes with Egyptian military – a fact making the bravery exemplified by these empowered women all the more noteworthy.