Recent clashes in Cairo have shown that removing a mindset can be more difficult than removing a regime ."Go home and wash dishes!" men shouted as women marched this week in Tahrir Square to celebrate International Women's Day. The division was a stark departure from the solidarity between genders as they stood by side, calling for Hosni Mubarak to step down just weeks ago.
Likewise, fighting between Christian Copts and Muslims on Tuesday was a sad reminder that Egypt is still fraught with dangerous religious tension. Last month Copts surrounded Muslims to protect them as they prayed and Muslims did the same for Copts as they celebrated Sunday Mass.
The spirit of those recent days need not be forgotten. In fact, there is an urgent need to rekindle those feelings of unity as the hard work of rebuilding Egypt's institutions begins. Bringing marginalised groups into the political process is one of the most important aspects of reform.
Token measures will not suffice. The appointment of one female member in Essam Sharif's new cabinet - a holdover from the Mubarak government - is a disservice to the thousands of women who agitated for greater political representation. The formation of a cabinet committee to deal with "women's issues" does not do justice to the economic, social and legislative hurdles that Egyptian women have encountered for decades.
Economic and legislative reform could also help defuse tensions between Copts and Muslims. Tuesday's protests in poverty-stricken Moqattam over the burning of a church last Friday originally sprang from a feud between families. The small-town nature of the dispute and retaliatory violence speaks to a lack of educational and work opportunities that can work to compound religious differences.
It is inevitable that old grievances will continue to surface as new social and political dynamics emerge. But the spirit of unity created in Tahrir Square, where people assembled not as Muslims or Christians, men or women, but as Egyptians, cannot be forgotten.
Egypt's youth are too aware of the dangers of slipping back into patterns of accusation and antagonism. As Wael Ghonim, the Google marketing manager who helped to lead the revolution, observed yesterday: "We got rid of the dictator who was ruling us. Now we need to get rid of the dictator that is within everyone of us."