Girlguiding responds to Wonder Woman’s appointment as UN ambassador

20 October 2016

Our response to Wonder Woman's new role

As the UN launches its campaign to achieve gender equality and appoint Wonder Woman as their honorary ambassador for girls’ empowerment, Girlguiding Advocate Adeola Gbakinro responds to the news.

The United Nation’s campaign to support UN Sustainable Development Goal number five to achieve gender equality is a really exciting step towards empowering girls and young women worldwide.
We know from eight years of Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey findings that gender inequality and stereotypes have a massive and negative impact on girls’ lives in the UK, from their career choices to their mental well-being.
We also know that with only 7% of FTSE100 CEOs being women, inspirational female role models are incredibly important. That’s why Girlguiding is constantly aiming to empower young women through programmes such as Camp CEO where girls are mentored by exciting successful businesswomen.
This makes the appointment of Wonder Woman, as an ambassador for the UN’s campaign, an interesting choice. When Wonder Woman first came on the scene 75 years ago, I’m sure she was a refreshing and thrilling role model. It’s undeniable that, at that time, strong female representation was out of the norm in fiction writing and cartoons. She has therefore earned her place in history as trailblazer and I can appreciate why she was chosen.
However, as a young woman today, I don’t feel Wonder Woman is someone girls my age can wholly identify with - largely because she isn’t a real person! With so many real-life fantastic female role models to choose from, I’m surprised a cartoon has come up trumps.

Adeola Gbakinro, 20, is one of Girlguiding's Advocates a panel of 18 young Girlguiding members aged 14-25 from across the UK. They meet throughout the year to talk about issues that are important to them, such as body confidence, representation of girls and women in the media, access to better sex and relationships education and role models for girls.

Image of Wonder Woman cape from the Costume Guild.