In a first, in the history of Iran, a woman will chair as the CEO of Iran Air. Farzaneh Sharafbafi will be the first woman to mark this new milestone on Iran’s aviation history.

According to a local media, Sharafbafi, who is a professor of Aeronautical engineering at the Amir Kabir University of Technology and Shahid Sattari University of Aeronautical Engineering, is also the first woman to get a PhD in aerospace. She was singled out for the position from among the board members of Iran Air.

For a long time now, women in Iran are fighting for their rights in a country where an orthodox society and strict laws dictate their future, Shrafbafi’s achievement is one tale to be told for years now. We couldn’t imagine the hardships she had to go through to reach a position like that.

Sharafbafi is currently the director general of Iran Air’s Research Department and will be replacing the current CEO Farhad Parvaresh.

According to the local media, the 44-year-old has been training with the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority, and has served as an expert in inter-airline disputes. She has also implemented several aviation projects and has learnt various aerospace courses.

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She said in an interview with the daily newspaper, “I attended my first class two days after I gave birth to my second kid. That day when I arrived late, the professor asked where I had been. ‘I just gave birth to a kid,’ I answered. They couldn’t believe their eyes. Normally, a woman stays home ten days after delivery. But it was not the case with me.” Sharafbafi, who has always been a keen student,  became a mother while pursuing her doctoral studies.

While Iranian women still fight restrictions, Farzaneh Sharafbafi proves her mettle as an example of women empowerment in the country.

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Feature Image Credit: Tehran Times

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