Egypt honours woman who dressed as man to get work
Sisa Abu Daooh shows up at presidential palace to receive award from Sisi and cash prize of 50,000 pounds, wearing male robe and turban.
Al-Arab Online  [Published On: 23/03/2015]
She first started dressing as a man 43 years ago
CAIRO - An Egyptian woman who says she had to dress as a man to get work has been hailed as an "exemplary working mother" by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Sisa Abu Daooh, 65, showed up on Sunday at the presidential palace to receive an award from Sisi and a cash prize of 50,000 pounds, wearing a male robe and turban, a day after Egypt marked Mother's Day.

The money, the equivalent of about $6,500 (6,000 euros) is a large sum in the conservative rural south where she lives.

Abu Daooh said she first started dressing as a man in the city of Luxor 43 years ago after her husband died and she was left to tend to her daughter alone.

"I cut my hair and wore a man's robe and turban, and a man's shoes to get a job. It was hard to get opportunities as a woman," she said.

Abu Daooh worked as a brick maker and field hand, and then when her health worsened took up shoe shining.

"It was hard (to dress as a man), but without it men would have hassled me and stopped me from working, and maybe even assaulted me."

Despite now having become famous, she says she will continue to work in men's clothes.

"I will work dressed in a man's robe until I die," she said.

Women in Egypt are legally equal to men, and many are employed outside the house, but advocates say the country still has a long way to go in advancing their participation in politics and the economy.

More in the news
Terrorists target Egypt police in deadly attack near Giza pyramids
Abadi to Iran: Your help is welcome but you must respect Iraq sovereignty
Egypt joins China-based infrastructure bank
Saudi Arabia executes second Indonesian woman
Paris jihadist attacks fuel sixfold rise in Islamophobic acts
Saudi Arabia in new move to cut Kuwait neutral zone oil output
France sees progress in Rafale jet talks with UAE
UN Yemen envoy quits as Saudi-led air war enters fourth week
New round of Iran nuclear talks April 22-23 in Vienna
Yemen urges renegade army units to drop support for Huthis
Entrenched jihadists put full reconquest of Anbar out of reach
Iran holds Obama ‘accountable’ for application of treaties
Support for freedom of speech falls across Middle East
Bombing kills two military cadets in Egypt
Arab coalition considers large-scale drill in preparation for ‘ground assault
Libya calls for Russia support over arms embargo
Turkey vows to ignore any EU genocide resolution
Sudan extends nationwide elections by one day after low turnout
Syria rebels in south reject all forms of cooperation with Qaeda affiliate
Egypt court backs deportation of gay man to ‘safeguard morality’
Obama sees 'serious progress' in fight against ‘Islamic State’
Iran vows 'irreversible steps' on nuclear programme
UN imposes arms embargo on Huthi rebels in Yemen
Jordan raises safety concerns over construction of Israeli airport near Aqaba
Fabius says work remains to be done before final Iran nuclear deal