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Wonder Woman named UN ambassador despite protests

FRANCE 24 screen grab | UN staffers protest the selection of Wonder Woman as the UN's new Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Woman and Girls on October 22, 2016

The UN named comic book character Wonder Woman as its new Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Woman and Girls, despite a petition signed by over 1,000 UN staffers protesting the fictional character’s “overtly sexualised image”.

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A carefully choreographed ceremony on Saturday announcing the new ambassador was marred when some 50 UN staffers silently turned their back to the stage during the opening speech, some with their fists in the air.

“For something that is this important, you need a woman or a man who can speak, somebody who can champion these rights,” Wendy Mwagmi, a furious UN staff member, told FRANCE 24.

The character's image will be used by the UN on social media platforms “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. The push, aimed at reaching young people, is backed by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., which produce both comics and films featuring Wonder Woman. This year is the 75th anniversary of the Wonder Woman character.

Honorary ambassadors - as opposed to goodwill ambassadors like Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway - are fictional characters. The UN previously nominated Winnie the Pooh to be an honorary Ambassador of Friendship in 1998, and Tinker Bell as the honorary Ambassador of Green in 2009.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

 

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