‘Burka Avenger’ fights for girls, schooling

Mild-mannered teacher by day, masked superhero by night, the Burka Avenger fights corruption and oppression, and aims to empower the girls of Pakistan.Enlarge image

Mild-mannered teacher by day, masked superhero by night, the Burka Avenger fights corruption and oppression, and aims to empower the girls of Pakistan.

 

Pakistan’s newest caped crusader, “Burka Avenger” fights corrupt politicians and religious zealots using pens and books, reports NPR. A schoolteacher by day, she dons a burqa to fight for girls’ education.

Burka Avenger, which made its debut on Pakistani TV this week, aims to empower young women in a country where attacks on girls’ schools and repression of women remain enduring problems. It’s the brainchild of Pakistani entrepreneur and pop star Haroon Rashid . . .

“She is a schoolteacher named Jiya. She is a warm, bubbly, intelligent young woman who’s concerned about education, and concerned about the city and the people of Halwapur [the fictional city where the show is set]. … And then of course, to fight the bad guys, and to hide her identity the way superheroes do, she puts on the burqa. And it’s a really cool, sleek burqa, and she can leap off buildings and glide from, almost like a flying squirrel … and she only fights with pens and books, because I wanted a nonviolent message. Her message is, ‘Justice, Peace and Education for All.’ “

Jiva doesn’t wear a scarf or a hijab as a teacher, Rashid tells NPR. She chooses to wear the burqa to mask her identity like other superheroes.

 

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