This woman pretended to be a man for forty years to protect herself.

Meet Sisa Abu Daooh, the Egyptian woman who lived as a man after losing her husband to escape societal norm in her community.

Sisa shocked many people in her community and beyond when they learnt that she was in fact a woman and not a man as supposed. She had posed and lived her life as a man for forty years. Telling her story, Sisa said she had to live as a man to escape and survive family pressure to remarry after she lost her husband.


At age 22, Sisa Abu Daooh lost her husband. They had a child together before his demise. She said she lived with her mother-in-law for forty days after the death of her husband. However,she had to take the bold step to live as a man for the rest of her life because she comes from a society where it is believed that a young widow can only survive if she marries again so that her husband will take care of her.


Sisa believed remarrying was not a good thing for her daughter, as a mother, she felt she must protect her daughter. Sisa broke the norm and proved everybody wrong. She shaved her hair and started dressing as a man and did jobs that are considered ‘only for men’ such as construction and shoe shining to provide for herself and her baby girl.

Until it was revealed that Sisa was a woman, many people believed she was a man. Sisa got honoured by the Egyptian government for being hardworking and being an ideal mother.


Today, Sisa is 70 years old and she lives happily with her daughter and grandchild.

Source: leadingladiesafrica.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.