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This Egyptian Woman Disguised Herself as a Man for 4 Years to Provide For Her Family

She works as a construction worker and goes by the name of Bakar.

After her deaf and mute husband couldn't continue to support his family, an Egyptian woman was left with no options to save her family other than to cut her hair and pretend to be a man to get a typically-manly job as a construction worker in Beni Suef. After she finishes her shift on site, she would usually drive around in a toktok to pick up a few extra pounds. The story was revealed on Moataz El-Demerdash's talkshow on El-Mehwar TV network earlier this week.

For the past four years, this has been Baheya's life. But despite her sacrifices, both jobs didn't suffice to provide for an adequate life for her family. That's when Baheya, whose male persona goes by the name of Bakar, started accumulating debt, eventually ending up having to sell one of her kidneys for EGP 25K to avoid landing in prison. Last May, Baheya lost one of her daughters in an accident with her toktok, after which the police seized the toktok for the lack of valid license, making her lose a vital source of income. For her to get her toktok back, Baheya has to pay EGP 3K in fines, a sum of money that's obviously not available to her.

The story of Baheya mirrors a lot more of those of impoverished Egyptian women, who are left behind with no education, awareness, or means to better their lives. Meanwhile, Baheya's frantic search for ways to secure enough money to pay back her debt and save her traumatised family continues.