Air women have been implored to advance themselves academically and professionally so that they may be advanced to take up leadership positions within the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) as promotion is merit based.

The encouragement for air women to advance themselves within their career was made by Chief of Staff operations Air Vice Marshal Jasper Marangwanda during the pass-out parade of 89 recruits at Jason Ziyapapa Moyo Base formerly known as Field Air Force Base in Chegutu.

The rigours of military training previously made it a male dominated profession worldwide.

Over the years, women have however, been claiming a stake and slowly advancing in line with the thrust on gender equality and equity.

The AFZ equally has an obligation to fulfill the gender equity requirement but there will be no blanket approach.

In this regard Air Vice Marshal Marangwanda who was guest of honour at a pass-out parade for 89 recruits in Chegutu, encouraged women to advance themselves so as to change the status quo.

“I urge you female soldiers to pursue more leadership courses in those areas that were more predominantly dominated by your male counterparts,” he said.

At the onset of the general service training course, there were 93 recruits, two passed on while two failed to meet the course demands.

Of the 89 who made it, 74 were male while 15 were female, and were directed to maintain a high standard of discipline and professionalism within the organisation.

“The ZDF are renowned worldwide for high standards of discipline and professionalism, you are therefore expected to be above reproach,” added Air Vice Marshal Marangwanda.

The graduands underwent basic military training and covered various subjects applicable on entry point into the air force, they also took up taekwondo lessons as well as the civil military relations package.