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Sophia Kuo says she still hears the whispers as she walks through international airports in her EVA Airways Corp. pilot’s uniform: “ ‘Wow, we have female pilots.’ ‘How does she fly an airplane?’ ‘She must be really smart!’ ”

More than eight decades after Amelia Earhart’s solo flight across the Atlantic, women like Kuo, a 35-year-old copilot on the Taiwanese carrier’s Boeing 747s, remain the exception in the cockpit. Only about 5 percent of pilots globally are female, according to Liz Jennings Clark, chairwoman of the International Society of Women Airline Pilots. And just “a tiny” percentage of them are captains.

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