International Women's Day Rally in Cairo Marred by Rival Protests

“We fought side by side with men during the revolution, and now we’re not represented,” said Passat Rabie, a young woman who came with friends, after men aggressively dispersed the protest.

“I thought Egypt was improving, that it was becoming a better country. If it’s changing in a way that’s going to exclude women, then what’s the point? Where’s the democracy?”

A protest by hundreds of Egyptian women demanding equal rights and an end to sexual harassment turned violent Tuesday when crowds of men heckled and shoved the demonstrators, telling them to go home where they belong.

The women — some in headscarves and flowing robes, others in jeans — had marched to Cairo's central Tahrir Square to celebrate International Women's Day. But crowds of men soon outnumbered them and chased them out.

There have been ugly scenes in Tahrir Square as hundreds of women, many of whom had recently faced tear gas alongside men during the protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak, attempted to hold a "Million Women's March" in Cairo to highlight their hopes of playing an active part in building a new Egypt.