Miss Peru pageant 2017 contestants broke the tradition of disclosing their bodily dimensions publicly during the competition and instead detailed some intriguing facts. Breaking the norms, the participants spoke against women violence and oppression faced on daily basis. The women on the stage spoke highlighting violence against women in one of South America’s most dangerous countries for females. All the 23 finalists at the Lima Municipal Theatre spoke as a representation of women who have been suffering sexual and physical abuse and other violence. Every year, women in the contest have to give their bust, waist and hip size in a televised event. Also Read - PM Imran Khan Approves Chemical Castration of Rapists in Pakistan, Law Soon to be Presented in Parliament
AFP quoted one contestant as saying, “My name is Camila Canicoba, I represent Lima and my measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicides reported in the last nine years in my country.” While another said, “Eighty-one percent of people who attack young girls are close to the family.” Audiences cheered as the women gave away the numbers during the competition. One of them said, “One girl dies every 10 minutes due to sexual exploitation.” Another said, “More than 70 percent of the women in Peru are victims of street harassment.” All the participants were praised on social media for breaking the rules and paving way for more women to follow. While the contestants were talking, newspaper clippings of violence against women reported were displayed on a screen behind them. Also Read - Teens Who Feel Empowered Are Less Likely to Commit Sexual Violence
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With this protest at the Miss Peru pageant, the ‘Ni Una Menos’ (Not One Woman Less) movement on social media has gained further momentum. Violence and assault against women have been on the rise in the recent past. According to Human Rights Watch, some 700 women were murdered in Peru between 2009 and 2015.
Newton, Miss Peru 1987 was quoted as saying, “Unfortunately there are many women who do not know, and think they are isolated cases.” Representing Callao, Romina Lozano, said her plan would be to “implement a database containing the name of each aggressor, not only for femicide but for every kind of violence against woman. In this way, we can protect ourselves.” Lozano was elected as Miss Peru 2017. Lozano will now walk with the other contestants to highlight violence against women in Lima on November 25. “The national queen must be the ambassador of ordinary women, of all women who have no voice,” said Newton.