World

Wonder Woman’s Fight for Equality at UN Ends in the Face of Protests

Actors Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter pose for photos during an event to name Wonder Woman UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls at the United Nations Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, US, October 21, 2016. Credit: Reuters

Actors Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter pose for photos during an event to name Wonder Woman UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls at the United Nations Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, US, October 21, 2016. Credit: Reuters

New York: Wonder Woman’s battle for equality for women and girls at the UN has come to a untimely end.

The scantily clad, curvaceous comic book superhero has had her appointment as a UN honorary ambassador cut in less than two months following protests.

A UN spokesman said the character’s role at the 193-member state organisation would end on Friday despite plans for Wonder Woman to be used in an empowerment campaign for women and girls into 2017.

The move came after the October 21 appointment of the superhero to fight for gender equality sparked heavy criticism, with nearly 45,000 people signing an online petition asking UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider selection of the character.

“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,” the petition read.

Wonder Woman, a DC Comics Incorporated heroine, first appeared in 1941, fighting villains, rescuing victims and unearthing evil plots.

Dozens of UN employees protested at the UN headquarters in New York City on the day of the appointment when Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment, said the Wonder Woman campaign would feature various initiatives “over the course of the next year.”

The UN did not provide further details as to why the Wonder Woman campaign was ending this week but spokesman Jeffrey Brez said campaigns using fictional characters often lasted no longer than a few months.

He said “Angry Birds,” a collection of animated characters that originated in an online video game, were used as climate envoys in March for a single day.

DC Entertainment, which publishes DC Comics, said it was pleased with the exposure Wonder Woman brought to the UN’s global goals to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls by 2030.

Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality, and for 75 years she has been a motivating force for many and will continue to be long after the conclusion of her UN Honorary Ambassadorship,” said Courtney Simmons, from DC Entertainment,

DC Entertainment is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers Entertainment Incorporated that is a division of Time Warner.

Simmons said the release next year of a special-edition Wonder Woman comic book on the empowerment of women and girls, announced in October, is still planned.

A full-length Wonder Woman movie, unaffiliated with the UN campaign, starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot is scheduled for release by Warner Brothers in June next year.

(Reuters)