Cristina Amaral, Timor-Leste’s first female pilot, and her advice to women and girls


With a small but growing number of women entering aviation, Cristina Amaral graduated in 2014 to become the first female pilot in Timor-Leste.

The active role of women in Timor-Leste’s independence struggle and peacebuilding efforts gave Cristina the courage to pursue her goals, despite facing a male-dominated industry and a male-driven society.

“I always dreamed of becoming a pilot because I saw it as a way to do something for my country,” says Cristina. “We don’t have many pilots so I thought to myself, ‘I would love to do that to help with my country’s development.’ I chose to spend less time dwelling on masculine stereotypes, and more time working towards flying.”

Find out what advice Cristina would give to other women and girls hoping to enter male-dominated industries by reading the full article on the UN Women website.