Chinese PLA’s Air Force Long March to Gender Equality
Last month, the first female fighter instructors took service in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. So far, female teachers instruct pilots about CJ-6 trainer aircraft, but they are also certified to teach pilots about advanced planes and fighter jets.
Currently, the PLA’s air forces engage 17 female jet fighter pilots of the 10th training class. Since 1951, the PLA’s air forces have enrolled 580 female pilots. Although the first classes of female aviators only flew transport planes, in 2013, 38 women who graduated from high school entered the Aviation University. After five years of education, 17 graduated and passed as fighter jet pilots. Currently, 35 young women are attending the Aviation University.
Mr. Wu Peixin, an expert quoted by the Chinese MOD, foresaw an increasing trend in female enrollment in the PLA’s air force. He also said that “female students are likely to feel more relaxed and encouraged when female instructors train them.”