Pakistan’s Burka Avenger Fights The Battle For Girls’ Education [Video]
Though American superheroes have certainly faced some real-world threats over the years — Captain America’s crusade against terrorism springs immediately to mind — they’ve generally had the luxury of facing more fantastical threats from galaxy-spanning bad guys. Pakistan’s newest hero, Burka Avenger, who will appear in a cartoon series starting early next month, doesn’t have that luxury. She’s fighting the all-too-real struggle for girls’ education in a country that has witnessed the Taliban destroying schools and trying to kill teenage activists.
Of course, the Urdu-language show, which is clearly directed toward children, won’t dig directly into the battle against the Taliban. The bad guys will be cartoonish bumblers — one’s a politician, another is, yes, a magician — the Burka Avenger, who by day is a teacher, will fight with her martial arts skills.
Show creator Aaron Haroon Rashid, who goes by just Haroon in his career as a Pakistani pop idol, told the Associated Press the burka the title character wears isn’t intended to reinforce women’s oppression, even though the garment is one the Taliban forced women to wear for years upon taking control of Afghanistan.
“She is using the burka to hide her identity like other superheroes,” Rashid said. “Since she is a woman, we could have dressed her up like Catwoman or Wonder Woman, but that probably wouldn’t have worked in Pakistan.”
So far, 13 episodes of the series have been completed, each of which includes an original song by a Pakistani pop star.
Check out the Burka Avenger website to get an idea at what the show will look like and some descriptions of the characters. You can also watch the show’s trailer, below.