- Azka Malik, a determined and passionate individual, is venturing into the male-dominated aviation industry in Pakistan after completing her rigorous pilot training.
- Women in the aviation industry, including pilots and technicians, face significant challenges and are underrepresented, with only approximately 7% of commercial pilots worldwide being women.
- Despite the obstacles, more women are entering the field, challenging gender norms and contributing to a more inclusive and progressive future for the aviation industry in Pakistan.
Azka Malik, after undergoing rigorous training for four years to pursue a career as a commercial pilot, is now venturing into the male-dominated aviation industry. Alongside her colleagues, she aims to break barriers and inspire other women to follow in their footsteps.
According to data from Women in Aviation International, women comprise only approximately 7% of commercial pilots worldwide. While the exact figures for Pakistan are unknown, the representation of women in this field is significantly lower.
Speaking from the cockpit of a Cessna aircraft at her aviation school in Karachi, 23-year-old Malik expressed the immense challenge faced by aspiring female pilots in Pakistan. She remains undeterred, determined to overcome the obstacles that come her way.
“The exhilaration one experiences while soaring through the skies in an aircraft is indescribable,” Malik shared with Arab News. “There is simply no parallel to this extraordinary sensation. Fortunately, an increasing number of women are now entering this field, signifying progress and positive change.”
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Notably, women have already made their mark in mechanical support and aircraft maintenance. Komal Khalid, a 25-year-old technician and fellow graduate of Sky Wing Academy, confidently asserts that aircraft maintenance is not solely a man’s domain.
“This field is undoubtedly demanding, but it is by no means limited to men. We, as women, are here and fully capable of fulfilling these roles,” Khalid emphasized. “No profession in the world should be restricted to a particular gender. Such antiquated notions are becoming obsolete.”
For Subhana Anwer, a 25-year-old aircraft maintenance technician, the gender divide does not apply to the aviation industry. Instead, it is a field that requires dedication to in-depth scientific study to truly master the craft.
“A career in aviation maintenance demands extensive studying and relentless effort,” Anwer explained. “It is no easy feat. Countless hours of study, late-night work, and perseverance are crucial elements for success.”
Despite the challenges, more and more women are rising to the occasion. Since 2019, Sky Wing Academy has trained 25 pilots and 42 aircraft technicians, with seven pilots and 22 technicians being women. Additionally, Pakistan boasts eight other aviation academies similar to Sky Wing.
“We have successfully trained numerous women pilots, engineers, and technicians who are now working for various domestic and international airlines,” stated Imran Aslam Khan, CEO of the academy. “We firmly believe that a country cannot progress until it actively involves women in all industries.”
Azka Malik’s entry into the aviation industry, alongside her determined colleagues, is a testament to the resilience and capability of women in pursuing their dreams. By defying gender norms and pursuing their passions, they are setting the stage for a more inclusive and progressive future.
Kudos to young women like Azka who are breaking barriers and defying all odds! More power to you.
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