How not to mark International Women’s Day

Across the world today is supposed to be a day of celebration of “the economic, political and social achievements of women”, but that’s not what some of the security men in Egypt, Ivory Coast and Sudan think.

In Sudan 60 women gathered on a busy street in Omdurman to protest against rape and rights abuses only to find themselves surrounded by 250 police.

Ten minutes of chanting and banner waving was all the security men could bear before they quickly arrested half the women and threw them into a truck. The detained women continued to shout slogans so some of the men gave them a beating with sticks for good measure.

In Ivory Coast it was worse still. Women gathered to march in different parts of the city of Abijan to protest against the killing last week of seven unarmed ladies by security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo who clings to power despite losing an election months ago.

Again shooting erupted and four people, including one woman, were reported killed.

And in Cairo a women’s march calling for equal rights and representation was ended by a larger group of men determined that the chauvinistic status quo should be maintained.

Not a proud moment for these parts of the continent.