One step towards equality

Meet Ayesha Aziz a young Muslim woman whose dream was to become a pilot, and guess what? She succeeded! Ayesha is the first female pilot from Kashmir, India.

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She was born and raised in India and she always loved planes and heights. Whenever she and her family took a plane she was excited and thought of it as a great adventure. She loved the unconventional and challenging aspect of flying, and she knew it wasn’t going to be easy to achieve her dream of becoming a pilot in a male dominated country such as India.

Ayesha got her pilot’s license when she was just 16 and showed everyone that you should not give up on your dreams even if there are pressures from society.

There was another great milestone last March when a crew from Royal Brunei Airlines operated a plane from Brunei to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia- a place where women are not even allowed to drive!

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The crew said “As a woman, a Bruneian woman, it is such a great achievement. It’s really showing the younger generation or the girls especially that whatever they dream of, they can achieve it,” said the captain.

Even though it is an accomplishment for Royal Brunei Airlines, they also highlighted the restrictions women still face in Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, the airline wishes to get more women into the industry, they have an apprentice programme which is open to both males and females.

Another kind of restrictions are also seen in Europe, specifically in France where it was recently prohibited for muslim women to wear burkinis at the beach. Muslim women living in France, born and raised there are now considering leaving their country. It’s very sad to see how a place they used to consider home, no longer is.

Have a look to their point of view on this particular situation:

This is Nawal Afkir, her hobby is street photography , she says “I am a social worker and I do my best to strive for a fair and free society. To me, wearing the veil does not mean being enslaved by a man. On the contrary, it means reappropriating the body and femininity.

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This is Saima Ashraf, she works at the Barking Town Hall in London, where she is a leader in the local government. She said “I am a Muslim French woman. I live in London. As a Frenchwoman, I would never have achieved what I have in London while wearing the veil. I am a politician in local government, deputy leader of my borough, and I wear the scarf. If I were in France, forget about it.”

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Click here to see more of their opinions.

After reading how they feel, I think there is a huge lack of respect with these women, people need to start respecting others religion and stop speculating whenever they see a Muslim woman wearing a veil. It is part of who they are and they feel good wearing it. Besides, wearing it won’t stop them from chasing their dreams and making remarkable achievements. Just take these women as an example– and there are many more!

Vocabulary:

  • Unconventional: Not traditional or usual
  • Highlight: To emphasize something important
  • Strive:To exert much effort or energy
  • Enslave: To make a slave of
  • Chase: Follow

What do you think about women in typically “male” jobs?

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