Burka Avenger, Pakistan’s first animated female superhero, is on a mission for girls’ education. Donning a burka and using pencils and books as weapons, she fights villains intent on shutting down her school, including corrupt politicians and an evil magician. The show promotes the value of women’s education in a region where the Taliban continues to attack female students and schools in an attempt to suppress their education. Just earlier this month, Malala Yousafzai spoke before the UN, urging world leaders to fight for education.
The show’s creator, Pakistani pop star Haroon, funded the Urdu-language cartoon with the help of an anonymous donor. Orphaned children outside of Islamabad were shown a sneak peek of the show and responded positively to its mix of slapstick humor and resounding messages.
Responding to questions about the choice of burka as superhero costume, Haroon said, “It’s not a sign of oppression. She is using the burka to hide her identity like other superheroes. 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.”
Here’s the English-language trailer for “Burka Avenger.” The show airs in August on Geo TV.