A protestor in Cairo, the capital, waving a placard that reads "Rigged Parliament". Posted on Flickr by Monasosh.
Although the footage on our TV screens seems to show male-dominated crowds, the women of Egypt have also been participating fully in the popular uprising.
"The women protest side-by-side with the men and are calling for justice, equality and democracy, just like them” said Nawal el-Saadawi
, a renowned writer and feminist in Egypt.
Some Web users feel there is a lack of recognition
of these female protestors. To compensate this, they have spread the women's message online via social media networks. A Facebook group, “Women of Egypt”
, was recently created in response to "all those who wonder where all the Egyptian women are". The group has found an audience as their message was re-sent across hundreds of Twitter feeds.
A protestor addresses the crows with anti-Mubarak slogans. Posted on the Facebook page, "Women of Egypt".
"Women feel safer now that the police have left"
Mohamed D. lives in Cairo.
There are an awful lot of women at the protests. Generally speaking, they are more present during the day than at night. At least that was the case at first, now there are even women out after nighfall.
Last week a female friend even said to me “It's the first time that I have spent a whole day in Cairo without being harassed
.” These days the atmosphere is safer for them and the main reason is that the police have left town. The civil police are more renowned for their annoying habit of harassing women in the marches [the police came back to Cairo on Monday
, but did not control the marches.] Now that the army has taken things into their hands, women are much more at ease.
And even if some are upset about protesting side by side with the Muslim Brotherhood [an Islamist opposition movement which advocates the installation of Sharia Law and is also protesting against Hosni Mubarak] these protests have the advantage of being relatively unpoliticised. Nobody is brandishing political slogans. You simply do not know which side the person is on if you borrow their bottle of water in the march. That is also the strength of the movement.”
A female protestor helps to clean the street following a demonstration. Posted on Flickr by Ramy Raoof.
Even the youngest get involved. This girl chants "Freedom. Freedom" in the arms of a soldier, on January 30 on the streets of Cairo. Posted on Flickr by Ramy Raoof.
In most cases, men constistute the majority of the crowd, like here is Cairo, 27 January.Posted on Flickr by Ramy Raoof.
“What is new is that there are old women wearing the hijab as well as young, bare-headed students"
Rowand Helmii is a student in Cairo, the Egyptian capital.
The footage that we see on the television shows an overwhelming male presence, as the media shows the more violent parts of the demonstrations. Each day though there are more and more women on the streets joining the marches.
The participation of women in protests in Egypt is not new but what is different this time is that women of all ages and social categories have rallied the movement. There are old women wearing the hijab as well as young, bare-headed students. It is not limited to a movement of the liberal youth fringe of the country.
A protestor in a niqab carries a placard reading "No to the vandalism!" posted on Flickr by Monasosh.
Although there are fewer women, they are on every front. Some are leading the marches; others attend the wounded [some even participate in identity checks
]. We are as useful and important as the men. We have no specific demands, our demands are the same as the demands of all citizens. We are fighting for one and all for the same thing; that Mubarak leave the country and be judged for his actions.”
A female protestor in Cairo. Posted on Flickr Monasosh.
Post written with France 24 Ségolène Malterre