This week in class we talked about ICT’s in relation to radio and video. One of the most unique uses of video that I have seen comes in the form of the television cartoon “The Burka Avenger” in Pakistan.
The Burka Avenger is the brainchild of Pakistani Popstar, Haroon, who invented the character as a sort of response to numerous instances of extremists shutting down girls schools throughout the country. The Burka Avenger is about a female schoolteacher named Jiya. During the daytime Jiya dedicates her time to educating children, but once night rolls around she dons a special burqa and fights crime using the martial art of Kabbadi – a fighting style that uses books and pens as weapons.
What’s so great about this show, is it completely throws traditional Pakistani gender rules out the window. Traditionally, women are required to wear a burqa during the day, and is seen as a symbol of traditional oppression of women in Pakistan. Jiya instead chooses only to wear her burqa at night, aiding her on her quest to right wrongs and fight evildoers. “By wearing a burqa she is showing she is a Muslim woman and superhero. And that she stands for all the good things of Islam and the real Islamic values — which are equality, woman’s rights, education and peace — rather than the way Islam has been hijacked by radical elements,” said Haroon in a CNN interview.
I am very excited to see this cartoon come to fruition, and it is a great use of ICT’s to empower women and spread the message of equality and education for all.
Link to the Burka Avenger Website: Here
Link to episode one with english subtitles: Here