Admira António is the first woman flighting an airplane in Mozambique.
Mozambique has one of the highest rates of gender inequality in the world and António does what was once a man’s job.
A feat she was never ready to give up on. António believes she has managed to win in a man’s world by becoming commander in 2018.
The attention is always on you as a woman. They want to see if you really know what you’re doing, why you got there, if someone made it easier for you, so I had to prove my skills, my professionalism.
“The attention is always on you as a woman. They want to see if you really know what you’re doing, why you got there, if someone made it easier for you, so I had to prove my skills, my professionalism”, António said.
Up in the sky, there are two realities: almost 80% of the on-board assistants are female, but only five percent of pilots are women and the proportion of female roles in technical or leadership positions in aviation is even lower.
A scenario described by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the South African Civil Aviation Authority when they promoted the first global gender aviation summit last year.
Admira Antonio witnesses this reality: when she rose to the level of commercial aviation at Mozambican airlines in 2012, she only drove alongside men, which came naturally to her after growing up “between brothers and cousins.”
But she still recalls scenes of prejudice, such as when a trainer apologized “for being a girl” when she tried to correct a response in a theoretical class.
António recalls how this only gave her “more strength.”
Mozambique appears in the 130th place in a list of 160 countries in the United Nations Gender Inequality Index, which combines health, labor market participation and access to opportunities.
The country has the eighth highest rate of childbirth in the world, with 135 births per thousand women between the ages of 15 and 19, according to the UN Human Development Index.
A total of 48 percent of women, ages 20-24, married when they were under 18, the ninth worst rate in the world.