Nightly News | February 17, 2011
>>> as we've been reporting, our friend and colleague over at cbs news, lara logan is out of the hospital recovering at home from the brutal assault she endured while covering the uprising and the victory celebrations in egypt . but what happened to her in cairo highlights a huge problem in egypt . what can often me the every day harassment and ill treatment of some women there. now, many women , some of them who played a role in the revolution we've been covering, hope the new order in egypt will change all that. our report from nbc's stephanie gosk.
>> reporter: when egypt 's revolution swept into tahrir square, one thing quickly became clear. women were not going to be left behind. before january 25th , men dominated what few demonstrations there were in this country. this time women stood shoulder to shoulder with them in larger numbers than ever before, protesting as equals. 25-year-old lumna, a free lance tv producer , was in the square every day.
>> when you joined the protests, were you surprised by how many women were out there?
>> yes. it was impressive.
>> reporter: women like her hope the spirit of equality sparked in tahrir square might spread throughout the country.
>> i want equality. between women and men. what you can do, i can do. that's it.
>> reporter: achieving that equality could turn out to be more difficult than toppling a president. in egypt women are guaranteed more rights by law than most muslim countries . they don't have to cover their heads, they can drive cars and go to the university. but the reality is that this country is very religious and very conservative. mahmoud shockey owns this coffee shop two hours from cairo , nowhere near tahrir square. there are some things, he says, women are not free to decide themselves.
>> translator: a woman has to cover her head because we are an islamic country . this is what our country dictates. this is what our religion dictates.
>> reporter: egypt is ranked 125th out of 134 countries in gender equality . 45% of all rural women are illiterate and a recent survey says 75% of egyptians believe men should be given jobs over women in tough economic times .
>> we need social change . for many years, egypt has been more conservative year after year.
>> reporter: but for 18 days, many women here say tahrir square provided a glimpse of what egypt could be. they now hope their cry will continue to be heard. stephanie gosk, nbc news, cairo .