Fighter pilots and bus drivers break new ground

// 19 May 2005

In Pakistan, the first cohort of women fighter pilots are on course to take to the skies, according to the BBC.

This is the first time women have been able to train as aerospace engineers and fighter pilots, although only 10 have signed on to the flying programme.

In a very traditional, Muslim society it is encouraging to see women taking on these roles traditionally filled by men. Women and men are still kept seperate for large chunks of the training programme, particularly those involving vigerous physical activity, but both genders are reportedly being treated equally.

Meanwhile, in the UK, I noticed the other day an ad encouraging women to take up jobs driving London buses. Apparently only 6% of bus drivers are women, and I can substantiate that by saying my own sightings of female bus drivers have been few and far between.

Sure, it’s not as glamerous as some jobs might be (flying a jet engine?), but at a time when occupational segregation is one of the reasons women are still paid less than men, as they don’t apply for the higher-paying jobs traditionally done by men, it’s got to be a good thing.

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