Wonder Woman has been named by the UN as an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls, sparking a backlash from many.
In its quest to achieve gender equality, the UN has appointed the DC Comics character of Wonder Woman as the face of a new campaign, designed to empower women.
The organisation decided that the cartoon character should be named an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls, using the slogan ‘Think of all the wonders we can do.’ The campaign aims to promote the achievements of women and girls around the world.
While many took to social media to share their excitement at Wonder Woman’s new appointment, many have criticised the decision, with some UN staff members staging a protest during the appointment ceremony.
A petition asking Ban Ki-Moon- the UN secretary general- to reconsider was created by “Concerned United Nations staff members” and states that:
“The message the United Nations is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing. The bottom line appears to be that the United Nations was unable to find a real life woman that would be able to champion the rights of ALL women on the issue of gender equality and the fight for their empowerment. The United Nations has decided that Wonder Woman is the role model that women and girls all round the world should look up to.”
So far, the petition has 2,504 supporters, with many echoing the idea that their main issue with the appointment of Wonder Woman is that she is a fictional character, thus suggestion no living woman was deemed appropriate for the esteemed position.
One UN worker said: “We really don’t think that a fictitious comic book character wearing what basically is a playboy bunny outfit is really the right message we want to send to girls or even boys. We think that is a toxic message to be sending.”
Another added: “For something this important you need a woman or a man who can speak. Somebody who can travel, somebody who can champion these rights, somebody who is able to have an opinion, somebody who can stand up in front of 192 member states and say this is what we’d like you to do. A cardboard cut out… is not what we would have seen as being the first ambassador for something that is so critical to all of us.”
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At the official ceremony on Friday, actors Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot, who have both portrayed Wonder Woman on screen, were among the guests. During the event, Cristina Gallach, UN under secretary general for communications and public information, explained that “I don’t need to tell you Wonder Woman is an icon. She has been known for justice, peace and equality and we are very pleased that this character will help us reach new audiences with essential messages about empowerment and equality.”
This is not the first time the UN has come under fire for issues relating to gender equality. Earlier this year, Ban Ki-Moon’s replacement was decided and, despite the face that there were five female candidates in a lit of 10, a woman was not appointed. On top of that, reports have shown that nine out of 10 senior leadership roles at the UN are given to men.