In what looks to be an attempt to keep females out of Cairo’s political life, hundreds of men assaulted about 50 Egyptian women and their male supporters as they marched against sexual harassment in Tahrir Square on Friday.

Women have been the targets of numerous assaults since the beginning of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The women in Friday’s demonstration were marching within a ring of male supporters. They were heckled, groped and roughed up after entering a crowded area of the square and eventually escaped to a nearby building.

A 22-year-old male medical student who was present at the march said: “Some people think it is targeted to make women hate coming here.”

AP via The Guardian:

During the uprising against Mubarak last year, women said they briefly experienced a “new Egypt”. Women participated as activists, protesters, medics and frontline fighters against the security forces. They have continued to play a leading role over the past 15 months. However, assaults on women protesters have been common, mainly perpetrated by men opposed to their presence and the security forces. Lara Logan, a US correspondent for CBS television, was sexually assaulted by a mob in Tahrir Square on the day Mubarak stepped down, as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians celebrated.

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— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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