Pakistani cartoon superhero “Burka Avenger” draws controversy. A new cartoon series in Pakistan is turning stereotypes on their head. It’s centered around a woman who doesn’t wear a burqa in the daytime but puts one on to transform into the “Burka Avenger” – and what’s more, she’s fighting for female education.
In the cartoon, “Burka Avenger” is a mild-mannered teacher with secret martial arts skills. Jiya —a.k.a. the Burka Avenger—uses books, pens, and martial arts to keep bumbling baddies from shutting down her city’s girls school and depriving its students of their right to education.
She uses a flowing full-length robe commonly worn by conservative Islamic women in Pakistan and Afghanistan to hide her identity as she fights local thugs seeking to shut down the girls’ school where she works.
The man behind Burka Avenger, pop star Haroon Rashid, said he had been overwhelmed by the response.
“The reception has been absolutely phenomenal, beyond our expectations,” he said.
“We were making this little animated TV series for Pakistan but it seems like the whole world wants to know about the Burka Avenger.”
A TV distribution company in Europe has been in touch with a view to translating the show into 18 languages, including English and French, and screening it in 60 countries, Rashid said.