The iconic superhero was named Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls by the UN but criticism didn’t wait.
On October 21st the UN named Wonder Woman, the iconic superhero, Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls to raise awareness about Goal 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.
The announcement was made on the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman’s first appearance in a comic book in 1941. Nonetheless, criticism towards the move didn’t wait. The BBC reported more than 1,000 anonymous and concern UN staff members signed an online petition arguing the character is not an appropriate choice.
They note her physique as “large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots, the epitome of a “pin-up” girl.” They classified UN move’s as “disappointing” because they couldn’t 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.”
But UN official Maher Nasser told NPR, "The focus [of the UN] was on her feminist background, being the first female superhero in a world of male superheroes and that basically she always fought for fairness, justice and peace."
Criticism then focused on UN appointment of Antionio Guterres as its next Secretary General, despite a global campaign for the organization to select its first female SG.
Woman UN Secretary General Campaign, the top organization pushing for a change also stated, ”WomanSG Is extremely disappointed that the United Nations has decided to use a muscled version of a Barbie doll as the symbol to globally represent gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. Announced at the same time as the UN Security Council chose to reject all highly qualified women candidates for Secretary-General, this cartoon Ambassador has cast serious doubt on the UN's commitment to Gender Equality.”
More so a recent Global Peace Operations analysis found that 9 out of 10 senior leadership roles at the UN went to men.
Also France’s highest ranking female Cabinet minister, Segolene Royal told CBS, "Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai would have been a good choice." Anne Marie Goetz, professor at NYU on the other hand called Wonder Woman’s appointment as “disgusting.”
DC president of Entertainment, Diane Nelson told BBC. “She stands for things that people still care about and will always care about so much that she's never going to fade away.
"Her ability to operate alone and be her own independent person but also to work right alongside with the same strength and same abilities as some of the strongest male super heroes I think is a testament to her character and kind of ties back again to the UN designation and this idea of gender equality.”
Meanwhile Women of the World Platform questions UN’s choice towards Wonder Woman and says “if they wanted a comic book heroine, not a concrete person, why didn’t they choose Spider Woman? Woman and mother and heroine who makes her motherhood compatible with her fight against crime.”
Besides their original article for the appointment, the UN News Centre hasn’t published any other news.