The United Nations has named Wonder Woman as an honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.
The fictional character was announced as an ambassador on Friday during a ceremony attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, alongside actresses who played Wonder Woman.
The UN are hoping that by appointing Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador, it will help to achieve goal five of the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal five aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The campaign, which is supported by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. launches on the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman’s first appearance in a comic book in 1941.
Speaking during the ceremony, Cristina Gallach, UN under-secretary-general for communication and public information, said, “While we have achieved progress towards gender equality, in many parts of the world women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence.”
“Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.”
Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, said, “Supporting the United Nations campaign for female empowerment is a weighty responsibility and one that all of us at DC and Warner Bros. are proud to take on.”
“Wonder Woman has always been a trailblazer for women’s rights and we believe she can continue that legacy by expanding and deepening the dialogue around these critical issues.”
“We believe that in addition to the exemplary work that amazing real women are doing in the fight for gender equality, it is to be commended that the UN understands that stories – even comic book stories and their characters – can inspire, teach and reveal injustices.”
However, the appointment hasn’t been without controversy, with the public backlashing against the choice.
More than 2,000 UN staff members have signed a petition arguing that Wonder Woman was not the appropriate choice.
They argued that, “although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a 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.”
Alongside the petition, around a 100 UN members protested at UN headquarters, with signs stating, ‘I am not a mascot’, ‘real women deserve a real mascot’, and ‘no to Wonder Woman’.