Pakistan, not unlike India, isn’t exactly considered the best country for women. But just a couple of years ago, the country got its first female superhero, Jiya, a teacher, who moonlights as a vigilante, the ‘Burka Avenger.’ The series has been as popular as it has been critically acclaimed worldwide, for celebrating the importance of education and putting down those who are against it. The series was launched a year after Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban for promoting women’s right to education.
The good news is that India will soon meet this inspirational school teacher as Zee Network has decided to air the series in India in four languages. According to a report by Reuters, Pakistani pop star, Aaron Haroon Rashid, the brain behind this project, said: “We are rolling out a worldwide launch for the ‘Burka Avenger’ series this year so it is fantastic that one of the first territories is India where we are able to reach such a large audience.”
Burqa and Hijab- both seen as a sign of oppression by the western world, have been turned into an instrument of power by the show makers. Rashid believes: “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,” according to the associated press, according to Wiki Leaks.
The show sends a powerful women-empowerment message and has been the recipient of many awards and accolades including the International Gender Equity Prize at Prix Jeunesse International Festival. The TIME magazine called the central character “one of the most Influential Fictional Characters of 2013.” South Asian countries and particularly the Indian sub-continent, have always struggled with the poor position of women in the society and introducing figures like the ‘Burka Avenger,’ might be a small step in the direction, but it sure is a powerful one.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Domeland]
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