“'Why would any man be a better fit for this job?” These are the words of Nouf Al Afifi, the Emirati woman who is leaping into the fight towards gender equality. Al Afifi became one of the first - and only, Emirati women air-traffic controllers in 2011 when she passed the General Civil Aviation Authority’s extensive training programme.
From a young age, Nouf had a passion for aviation and stumbled upon her dream job whilst preparing for an interview for the National Cadet Pilot Programme. Although she thrives in the field, the airline industry is still predominantly male with just 4,000 out of 130,000 pilots being female globally. Al Afifi said: "Air Traffic Control is a field that has always been dominated by men and it is a great challenge for a girl like me to enter this field especially I was the only UAE girl to apply for this job in GCAA at the age of 22.” Al Afifi has gained the respect and admiration of her male co-workers with her commitment to the job.