In a case of poor timing, the United Nations has announced comic-book character Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls, just as the organization rejected seven women for the leadership position of secretary-general.
Dozens of countries pushed this year for a woman to be appointed as the global organization’s next leader, urging the U.N. to lead by example in its pledge to promote gender equality. Last week, Antonio Guterres was appointed the world’s top diplomat, provoking Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra (who was in the early running for the top job) to call out the “steel ceiling” and “boys club” mentality of the U.N. Guterres is a former prime minister of Portugal and ran the U.N.’s refugee agency for a decade.
The official appointment of Wonder Woman will take place on October 21, when the fictional hero turns 75. Her avatar will be used on social media to promote messages about the empowerment of women and girls, U.N. outreach director Maher Nasser told The New York Times.
The U.N. has come under scrutiny in recent years, with member states urged to stop protecting and start prosecuting their peacekeepers who have been accused of rape and sexual exploitation.
It is also behind on a pledge of gender parity in its own senior appointments — a promise Guterres has vowed to uphold. One analysis found that nine of 10 senior leadership jobs at the organization last year went to men.
Read the full story at The New York Times.