DC Comics’ Wonder Woman recently made the news in a rather peculiar way. The United Nations announced that they have selected Wonder Woman to be the “United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.” As Wonder Woman approaches the 75th anniversary of her creation, she will be used by the United Nations to promote messages of and about the empowerment of women and gender-based violence.
It’s not every day that a fictional character gets named as an honorary Ambassador for the United Nations. The UN will be holding an official ceremony on October 21 to “bestow” the title upon Wonder Woman. By doing so, the UN hopes to promote its Sustainable Development Goal #5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” The President of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, along with unnamed “special guests” will join the Secretary-General for this honor. It is not clear if Gal Gadot or Lynda Carter will be among the attendees.
This news comes shortly after the naming of the next UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. With growing concern over the lack of women in positions of leadership at the United Nations, some have argued that this honorary ambassadorship is a token effort and a deflection. Given that the United Nations had previously forbade the BBC from associated Doctor Who’s UNIT with the United Nations over concerns that it did not properly represent the United Nations, it seems perhaps a bit peculiar that the warrior woman from Themyscira would be recognized as an ambassador.