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March 6, 2017

In the Midst of India’s Reputation for how it Treats its Women, Air India Gets this one Right.

A few years ago, as I was deplaning a Southwest Airlines flight, I happened to notice that both the pilot and the copilot were women.

So pleased was I, that I actually asked the pilot if she would pose with me so that I could send a picture of her in her uniform to my granddaughters.

“I want them to see you,” I told her. “I want them to see that the world isn’t full of airplanes that are flown by men only.”

As you can see, the pilot graciously agreed to have a photo of the two of us taken.

When I was growing up, while there were actually women who did things first, I didn’t see them with my own eyes. I had to read about them in my history books.

Other than nurses, teachers, wives, and mothers, I didn’t have role models around me outside of those traditional roles to look at and say, “I want to do that,” and, “I want to be like her.”

This is why I had such a personal surge of elation this morning when I learned of the first all-female crew to fly around the world.

There were just so many role models in the achievement to point at in addition to the pilots.

“Check-in and ground handling staff, the engineers who certified the aircraft, and the air traffic controllers who authorized the departure and arrival of the plane were also all women.” ~ Air India

I am elated to see the world—and women’s place in it—changing.

While I am aware that India also has a horrifically complicated relationship to women in general, and I by no means want to imply that they don’t have a long way to go—they do—under the circumstances of this accomplishment, I don’t want to paint Air India with the same brush.

They got this one right.

~

Author: Carmelene Siani

Image: Twitter screenshot; Courtesy of Author

Editor: Caitlin Oriel 

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