Afghanistan’s women are reaching great heights. With Captain Safia Ferozi taking over the wheels of a transport plane for Afghanistan’s air force, participation of women in the country’s air force is on an upswing. Ferozi is the country’s second female pilot, which reflects the fact that efforts are on cards to bring in more women into the armed forces. The first woman pilot was Captain Niloofer Rahmani in 2013. Currently, 5 other women are under training.

The 26-year-old Ferozi was a refugee in her childhood days.  She is married to Captain Mohammad Jawad Najafi, who also is a pilot in the same unit supporting army ground forces. They met each other in the training sessions held for newcomers. The duo joined a small Afghan air force that is dedicated to fight the Taliban insurgency.

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“When I wear a military uniform, I really, really feel proud of myself as a woman,” said Ferozi while taking charge of a flight at the air force base in the capital, Kabul, NBC News reports. Ferozi prefers a C-208 — a turboprop plane used as transport for the armed forces.

Ferozi’s family left their Kabul home in the 1990s. It was during the civil war among Afghanistan’s warlords when they took shelter as refugees in Pakistan. They returned when nothing was left to be a part of -– it was the fall of the Taliban.

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Later, a TV commercial urging women to join the military inspired Farozi to enroll her name in the military academy after graduation. While she wanted to become a communication officer, an announcement in the academy, that the air force was seeking women in pilot roles, turned her life in a different direction. Farozi says that her dream was always to fly high but she also wanted to inspire many other women like her.

“As a woman you face many challenges, but you have to deal somehow with all those problems,” she said.

Ferozi’s journey since her graduation in 2015 when no other women passed the tests for the training, is laudable and she is definitely an inspiration to many women to join the force.

It’s been two years since she got married and now has a 8-month-old daughter Nergis. But the support she received from her family gets a little credit too.

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It is nearly 16 years since the US-led invasion in 2001 had broken down the militant Taliban regime. Since then, Afghan women are trying to make themselves noticeable in different sections, including the government and the military.

There are nearly 1,800 women serving in the Afghanistan military. The government is working for their uplift in society too. Despite having faced certain resistance in society, some fierce women have been given opportunities to prove their capabilities, Ferozi is one of the few.

Hats off to you Ferozi!

Feature Image Credit: TOI

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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