Accessibility links

In France, The Doors Are Open For Female Pilots

In Washington, the U.S. Congress has been debating the role of U.S. women in combat. Now, a similar discussion is taking place in France. Until recently, men have dominated the French Air Force. But the French military is considering the possibility of allowing more females to train as fighter pilots.

Every year, the French Air Force selects 200 pilots out of more than 3,000 people that are recruited. Among those, are a few women.

Alix Chaignon is one of France's six female fighter pilots. "Maybe my voice is different. You can tell by my voice."

Alix says the training is tough, but she offers this advice to women who want to train as fighter pilots, "You have to like being in a man's world, because it is not always easy. You just have to go for it, and there is no problem."

Captain Olivier Labeur says that Alix's gender is not an issue and says she is a good pilot. "It doesn't change a thing. We are lucky Alix fits in here so well."

Alix flies the same missions as the rest of her squadron. But she hopes that one day, she will be joined by other women eager to represent the French military.