Pakistan, irrefutably, is one of those countries where women are achieving more than ever by breaking stereotypes and outshining their defined gender roles. They are an inspiration to millions of other girls in the country, who are still trying to break the shackles of this conventionalized society. Qaswa Mubarak, Pakistan’s youngest female commercial pilot, is one such addition to this category.
Mubarak hails from a family of doctors and engineers and was assumed to become one until she opted for a career drift and realized that she’s destined to become a pilot. Initially, she kept this wish to herself and finally let the cat out of the bag after acquiring all the necessary information required to pursue her dreams. Her parents accepted this with alacrity and were extremely supportive of her decision, especially her father.
In her interview, she revealed that she wanted to become a pilot because the oppression of women has increased manifold in our country for no obvious reasons other than being a woman in this male-dominated society. “I wanted to prove those people wrong. I wanted to prove that women can do anything they put their minds to. And I’m happy to say that I did”, she said.
She also expressed her views regarding her experience of working in a male-centric field. She said that women are often mistaken in their rationale for choosing masculine fields and are often associated with achieving petty goals. She fought these stereotypes ever since she started flying and made herself appear as a career-oriented woman whose sole objective is to pursue her dreams. She also encourages women of her like to follow their dreams by turning a deaf ear to society.
Qaswa Mubarak was the only student in the academy without an aviation background, which was difficult in the beginning. Surviving without any guidance almost led her to believe that she doesn’t belong in this field. This perspective was changed after she went on her first solo flight. “Flying is magical, but it’s also very professional”, she said. After this, she felt that this was where she belonged. She further added that she takes her flying very seriously because it’s a big responsibility.
Mubarak also is an activist and heads a charitable organization called “Dastageer”, which she started back in her 10th grade along with a few of her friends in Rawalpindi. The organization works for the employments of the needy instead of relying on money and groceries. They also tutor children and previously taught Quran to transsexuals as they were being denied that right in a few places in Rawalpindi at the time.
Qaswa is an exemplar of modesty, humility, strength, and ambition. We hope that she continues to be a role model for women of Pakistan and the world.