Jeanne Martin Cissé was born on 6 April in Kankan in Guinea. She is a graduate of a teacher training college in Rufisque, Senegal. Cissé worked as an educator from 1945 to 1954. She was the director of a school from 1954 to 1958. After the declaration of Guinean independence in 1958, she took part in the trade union and women’s movements. From 1962 to 1972 she was general secretary of the Conference of African Women. She joined Guinea’s Party-State – until 1978, the Democratic Party of Guinea (DPG) – in 1958 and became a member of the Central Committee of the DPG in 1972. In 1978 she became a member of the Central Committee’s Political Bureau.
Cissé has been elected to the National Assembly of Guinea several times; from 1974 to 1976 she was first Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Commission of the National Assembly. From 1963 to 1969 she was the Guinean representative to the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Status of Women. She was Guinea’s permanent representative to the UN from 1972 to 1976. In 1976 she was appointed Minister of Social Affairs of Guinea. In that year Cissé led and read the statement calling for the elimination of racial discrimination in South Africa. She was a member of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid. Cissé received the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations in 1975.