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Females in the PLA Air Force

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

This report discusses the past and present role of females in the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force (PLAAF) to include officers, enlisted personnel, civilian cadre, and civilian personnel. Historically, females in the PLAAF served in two primary roles: transport aircraft pilots and crew members and enlisted personnel in communications units. Over the past few decades, their roles have increased into the medical field, academics, research, radar units, and the Airborne Corps. Although five females have become major generals, no females have become lieutenant general or generals, so there appears to be a glass ceiling for females. There also appears to be a glass ceiling for most enlisted personnel. While some basic demographic information about the U.S. Air Force (USAF) is provided in the Air Force Association’s annual USAF Almanac, the PLA as a whole and the PLAAF in particular do not provide detailed information about personnel, including the total number or the breakdown by officers, enlisted personnel, civilian cadre, grades and ranks, and males and females.