A battle for girls' education in Pakistan

Published July 25, 2013
Pakistani schoolgirls, who were displaced with their families from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between militants and the army, listen to their teacher, not seen, while a health worker visiting their school to give  polio vaccines, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Pakistani schoolgirls, who were displaced with their families from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between militants and the army, listen to their teacher, not seen, while a health worker visiting their school to give polio vaccines, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
A schoolgirl, who was displaced with her family from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between militants and the army, puts down her shoe before entering her classroom, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
A schoolgirl, who was displaced with her family from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between militants and the army, puts down her shoe before entering her classroom, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Sadia Mukhteya, 12, who was displaced with her family from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between militants and the army, reads in front of the class during an English language class at a school on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Sadia Mukhteya, 12, who was displaced with her family from Pakistan's tribal areas due to fighting between militants and the army, reads in front of the class during an English language class at a school on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Schoolgirls, Shazil Ishtiaq, 12, right, and Aysha Huma, 9, center, attend a Karate class at Shotokan Karate School in Islamabad.
Schoolgirls, Shazil Ishtiaq, 12, right, and Aysha Huma, 9, center, attend a Karate class at Shotokan Karate School in Islamabad.
Orphaned children react while watching an early screening of the first episode of the animates Burka Avenger series, at an orphanage on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Orphaned children react while watching an early screening of the first episode of the animates Burka Avenger series, at an orphanage on the outskirts of Islamabad.
A woman sits on a roadside begging for money, in Rawalpindi.
A woman sits on a roadside begging for money, in Rawalpindi.
A schoolgirl, center, writes on the blackboard, while her teacher Warda Arshad, 20, right, check the homework of another student during their daily classes in a makeshift school set in a clay house,  part of it is used as a cowshed, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
A schoolgirl, center, writes on the blackboard, while her teacher Warda Arshad, 20, right, check the homework of another student during their daily classes in a makeshift school set in a clay house, part of it is used as a cowshed, in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Orphaned chidren watch an early screening of the first episode of the animate Burka Avenger Series, at an orphanage on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Orphaned chidren watch an early screening of the first episode of the animate Burka Avenger Series, at an orphanage on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Girls  forced to skip schools due to poverty, work in a brick factory, in Mandra.
Girls forced to skip schools due to poverty, work in a brick factory, in Mandra.
Displaced school girls chant prayers during a class to pay tribute for five female teachers and two aid workers who were killed by gunmen, at a school, on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Displaced school girls chant prayers during a class to pay tribute for five female teachers and two aid workers who were killed by gunmen, at a school, on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Children watching an early screening of the first episode of the animates Burka Avenger series, at an orphanage on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Children watching an early screening of the first episode of the animates Burka Avenger series, at an orphanage on the outskirts of Islamabad.

Wonder Woman and Supergirl now have a Pakistani counterpart in the pantheon of female superheroes one who shows a lot less skin.

Meet Burka Avenger: a mild-mannered teacher with secret martial arts skills who uses a flowing black burka to hide her identity as she fights local thugs seeking to shut down the girls' school where she works. Sadly, it's a battle Pakistanis are all too familiar with in the real world.

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