The Egyptian government this week honored Sisa Abu Daooh, a woman who posed as a man for 43 years in order to provide for her family after the death of her husband, calling her “the ideal mother.” Daooh lost her husband years ago while pregnant and was left without an income. In a local culture averse to working women, rather than begging, she decided to disguise herself as a man and take on an array of jobs, from cleaning shoes to working in construction. She was forced to keep working as the family’s breadwinner when her daughter’s husband fell ill and was left unable to work. Abu Daooh is 64 years old today and still polishing shoes, which earns her a “decent income” and helps her provide for her daughter and grandchildren. While Daooh deserves every recognition, as Jon Levine at the website Mic. points out, her remarkable story is also a sign of how much progress is yet to be made when it comes to women’s rights in Egypt.
Read the full story at Mic.