“Burka Avengers” and Pakistan’s Gender Structures

women training fight
Photo credit: AFP/ Getty images

by Fauzia Husain

The BBC’s Facebook page recently featured a story from its radio service. The story depicts the sounds of women training to join an elite force of police commandos who will take on the Taliban in Pakistan. We hear the reporter ask the women trainees’ men colleagues how many of them support the induction of women into their unit, and we hear that all of them raise their hands. Meanwhile, in the background, the men say in Urdu and in English that “there is a need for this.” The reporter understands the men’s response and indeed, this training of women commandos, as signaling a shift in the gender system of this war torn country. Continue reading ““Burka Avengers” and Pakistan’s Gender Structures”