Meet Burka Avenger, Pakistan’s First Female Hero

Meet Burka Avenger, Pakistan’s First Female Hero

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Meet Burka Avenger, Pakistan’s First Female Hero

Don’t mess with the lady in black!

Covered in a black burka, armed with books and pens, she’s here to defend girls’ education rights.

Please welcome, Pakistan’s first female hero to save the day: Burka Avenger.

By night, she flies around in her black burka fighting bad guys who want to shut down girl’s schools.

By day, she’s a compassionate school teacher named Jiya.

This animated TV series follows the adventures of the Burka Avenger in the imaginary city of Halwappur.

The heroine uses Takht Kabaddi, a form of karate, with books and pens as weapons.

Burka Avenger fights against villains such as Baba Bandooq, an evil magician with a bushy black beard.

And also Vadero Pajero, a corrupt politician.

Both think that female education is unnecessary.

Burka Avenger is the brain child of one of Pakistan’s leading pop singers, Aaron Haroon Rashid.

“It’s the first ever Pakistan hero and this is an incredible super hero. She’s Jiya, the inspirational school teacher. She teaches kids very important things, discusses social issues, knowledge... but when she fights the bad guys, she disguises her identity the way superheroes do. That’s why she’s a Burka Avenger.”

He also sings its English theme-song “Lady in Black”. 

The series deals with topics like violence, girls education, women's empowerment and peace.

The creator was inspired by the real life story of Malal Yousafzai – a girls’ rights activist who was shot in the head last year by a Taliban gunman.

She survives and now lives in the UK and  recently spoke at the a Youth Assembly at UN headquarters.

“On the 9th of October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too. They thought that the bullet would silence us. But they failed.”

The fact she wears a burka has been criticised by some people in pakistan who say the full-body covering cloth has long been a symbol of male domination.

32-year-old TV journalist Shahzad Khan thinks the use of burka is misleading.

“In Pakistani conservative society, burka has been seen as a sign of oppression and depression. And in this animated series burka has been pictured like a hero. So here’s confusion to the target audience to whom this message are addressed.”

But the international reaction to the series has largely been positive.

Burka Avenger is also seen by many as a better role model for girls than any Disney princess.

45-year-old Rukshana Hayat, is a teacher in Islamabad Model School and has been teaching for last 29 years.

She’s happy that there’s a character that glorifies teachers and education.

“With the current situation where schools are being blown up in various parts of the country and teachers are no longer safe, this will give a positive message to the world."

Taliban militants have bombed over 800 girls’ schools in northern Pakistan in the last four years.

And more than half of Pakistan’s population is illiterate.

10-year-old Sidra Sajid says Burka Avenger is her new hero.

“Jiya’s role was great in this animated movie, she does a great to job protecting girls and makes us aware of our rights to get an education."  

T-shirt and other merchandise will be on sale, to launch the brand of Burka Avenger as Pakistani’s new female superhero... with the aim of making Burka Avenger the Wonder Woman of Pakistan.