Real women are not good enough to lead. And women's power is fantasy.
Last week, António Guterres was appointed to be the next UN Secretary General. And Wonder Woman was made an honorary ambassador to the UN. Yes, you read that correctly. As Dr. Bob Zuber of Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict (one of WIISWest's partners) said in his latest blog post: "we now have a cartoon character serving as our collective symbol of women’s empowerment: an athletic, thoroughly Anglo, scantily-dressed figure of some artist’s imagination, who ostensibly will inspire and mentor young women and girls more effectively than the many women of high intelligence and character already roaming our hallways and conference rooms."
You may ask, why UN goings on are being included in WIISWest's blog, as we are focused on US West Coast activities. This is extremely relevant however, because the UN sends a global message and is intended to be a role model for human rights and gender equality. This latest decision is a complete blow to the progress of women and leadership. I do not know Gurerres personally, yet from what I have heard from colleagues at the UN, he is a good guy. With that said, the seven women candidates were equally, if not more, qualified. Unfortunately, it seems the UNSC is still being run by men who wish to hold on to their power for as long as they can.
It’s easy to talk about gender equality. To live it, and break years of tradition is not for the faint of heart… I have been in and out of the UN community in various capacities for more than 25 years, and the gap between talk and walk continues to be significant. Obviously, systemic change takes time… and all in all I would rather have a world with the UN in it than without. With that said, they too must be held accountable for the messages they put out. Having never had a woman at the helm in all of its 70+ years, is, not acceptable. And, the honorary recognition of wonder woman, is offensive. Given the timing of the announcement (when they announce the new male SG) it sends out a message that women are not relevant. At least not real ones. Giving a fictitious character an honorary acknowledgment, is like saying women and girls’ power is an illusion…
We still have so much work to. To read more about the decision, you can read the NY Times article here.