Kabul, Afganistan: Raised as a childhood refugee, Captain Safia Ferozi is now flying a transport plane for Afganistan’s air force. Being one of the two female pilots in Afgan air force she is the hope for other women. The 26-year old is married to another pilot who flies C-208 in the same unit supporting army ground forces. They are the part of small Afghan force trying to take a greater role in fighting the Taliban insurgency.
“When I wear a military uniform, I really, really feel proud of myself as a woman,” Capt Ferozi said while preparing for a flight at the air force base in the capital, Kabul.
In the 1990s, when Taliban took over Afganistan, Safia’s family fled to Kabul, Pakistan and lived there as refugees and returned only after their collapse in 2001. Her life changing moment was when in high school she saw commercial urging women join the army. So, after her graduation, she enrolled herself in the military academy, was studying to become a communication officer when it at the Academy it was announced that they were looking for women to become pilots. Captain Ferozi, along with 12 others applied, but she was the only one who passed the test to enter the training.
Captain Firozi says, she wants to aspire other women. “As a woman, you face many challenges, but you have to deal somehow with all those problems,” she said.