Outrage spread after solders dragged women by the hair and stamped on them One woman was also stripped half-naked in the street during unrest.

Recent clashes between protesters and the army have left 14 dead and over 700 injured in Cairo during the last five days.

Images of abuses against women were circulated as the women marched from Tahrir Square through downtown Cairo, including the infamous image of the girl stripped down to a blue bra being assaulted by soldiers.

Signs read: “We will not be silent about women’s abuses”.

The crowd chanted to passers by: “Tantawi stripped your women naked, come join us.”

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi is the head of the military council that has ruled the country since Hosni Mubarak fell in February.

Before the protest had finished, the military council, which had previously dismissed the significance of the abuse, issued a statement of regret over “violations” against women.

It promised it was taking steps to punish those responsible and expressed “deep regret to the great women of Egypt”, confirming “its respect and total appreciation” for women and their right to protest.

Historians have called the march the biggest women’s demonstration in modern Egyptian history and the most significant since a 1919 march against British colonialism began women’s activism in the country.