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              In this Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 photo, family members of Pakistani girl Kainat Riaz, 16, show a picture of her being dressed up for a party at her home in Mingora, Swat Valley, Pakistan. Kainat was wounded by the same Taliban gunman, who shot Malala Yousufzai and 13-year-old Shazia Ramazan, Oct 8, 2012 on their way coming back from school. Malala was shot for her outspoken insistence on girls education. Shazia and Kainat are to return to school this week for the first time since the shooting more than one month ago. ( AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

New female superhero to debut in Pakistan: The ‘Burka Avenger’

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Pakistan now has its own version of Wonder Woman: the “Burka Avenger.”

The new female superhero, who hides her identity under a black burka while fighting people who try to shut down girls’ schools, uses books and pens as her weapons of choice, according to the Associated Press.

The Urdu language show is set to air on Geo TV in August and hits on a current reality in Pakistan — the Taliban’s militant hostility to educating girls. The AP notes that the Taliban have blown up hundreds of schools and attacked activists over their objections to female education.

While the reality is serious, the show is meant to be entertaining and even funny.

“Each one of our episodes is centered around a moral, which sends out strong social messages to kids,” show creator Aaron Haroon Rashid told The Associated Press. “But it is cloaked in pure entertainment, laughter, action and adventure.”

Of outfitting the heroine in a burka — which some consider a to be a sign of oppression — Rashid explained to the AP that the ninja-styled burka is meant to hide the Burka Avenger’s identity, not oppress.

“It’s not a sign of oppression. She is using the burka to hide her identity like other superheroes,” said Rashid. “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.”

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