Last week, the United Nations announced that Wonder Woman, a fictitious comic character, had been named an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. This new “ambassador” would be tasked with raising awareness about Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
This appointment was met with disbelief by women’s organizations, UN staff and others. In response, Zonta International President Sonja Hönig Schough sent a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, asking him to reconsider the appointment and to give Goal 5 a serious, real-life role model that can bring the necessary and appropriate attention to Goal No. 5 and global gender equality challenges. Below is an excerpt from President Sonja’s letter to the Secretary-General.
“When we read that Wonder Woman, a fictional character, was appointed by the United Nations as an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, we thought it was a joke. Unfortunately, we soon discovered it was true. This highly sexualized cartoon, often dressed in parts of the U.S. flag, shall be tasked with raising awareness about Goal No. 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“At a time when issues such as gender parity in senior UN roles and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls is at the top of the UN agenda, this appointment is an insult to women all over the world and should be an embarrassment for UN leadership. Zonta International asks you to reconsider the appointment of Wonder Woman as the Honorary Ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. This role is far too important to be filled by a fictitious character. We need a real-life female role model that women and girls around the world can look up to.”
Photo credit: DC Entertainment