By day, she’s a teacher. But by night – or whenever there’s crime to fight – she’s a badass superhero. The Pakistani Jiya is trained in Takht Kabbadi, a secret ancient mystic martial art where books and pens are primarily used as weapons, combined with an impressive set of acrobatic moves. Oh, and she wears a burqa. Hence her superhero name: the Burka Avenger.
This animated childrens show from Pakistan is enormously popular. It’s has won an Emmy and Jiya was named one of Time’s most influential fictional characters in 2013. Today, the show is still very relevant because Burka Avenger is revolutionizing in many ways. It promotes education and cultural diversity and empowers young Pakistani females. The creator of the show says it should serve as “an inspiration to girls and it would be good for boys too to see strong women.”
Besides that, Burka Avenger includes some pretty serious themes. One is the bombing of over 800 girls’ schools in northern Pakistan since 2009 by the Taliban. Also, the fighting techniques that Jiya uses doesn’t include any serious violence, but rather hitting people with books and pens. This implies the importance of education and that the pen is mightier than the sword. And Burka Avenger addresses issues such as Polio prevention: