Beauty contestants use stage to discuss violence against women

"My measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last 9 years."

Violence against women being discussed at a beauty pageant? Hell yes.

Today’s feminist wave might claim that beauty pageants are irrelevant outside of Sandra Bullock films. Cue the Miss Peru 2018 contest held Sunday. Rather than listing their bust, waist and hip measurements, contestants gave facts and statistics about femicide and gender violence in Peru.

“My name is Camila Canicoba and I represent the department of Lima. My measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years in my country,” Camila said on stage.

Across South America, women have been banding together to demand Ni Una Menos — Not One Less. Marchers have been demonstrating the high levels of gender-based killings, across the country. It came to media attention though when one demonstration took place at a beauty pageant.

“My name is Juana Acevedo and my measurements are: more than 70% of women in our country are victims of street harassment,” Juana said.

Contestants continued reciting statistics about sexual abuse, harassment, abuse in schools and more.

According to the World Health Organisation: “Femicide is intentional murder of women because they are women, but include any killings of women or girls.” Indeed,in 2014, there were 96 reports of femicides in the country and all females in Peru are at high risk of gender-based violence.

Organisers of Miss Peru 2018 helped orchestrate the manifestation, displaying newspaper clippings on large screens behind the contestants as they walked the catwalk. Jessica Newton, the main coordinator of the pageant, told BuzzFeed the goal is to empower women, call attention to violence against them and highlight that women deserve respect no matter what they are wearing. “If I walk out in a bathing suit I am just as decent as a woman who walks out in an evening dress,” said Newton.

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(YouTube/Mi Canal Peru)

Luciana Fernández, from Huánuco, used her stage time to tell the crowd that 13,000 young girls suffer from sexual abuse in Peru.

“More than 25 per cent of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools,” said Almendra Marroquín, who was representing Cañete.

In the final section of the pageant, the women were also asked to explain what laws they would hypothetically introduce to address violence against women.

The #NiUnaMenos movement (#NotOneLess) was launched in 2015 to campaign against gender-based violence across Latin America.

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Author: Scarlett Victoria Clark

Scarlett Victoria Clark is Editor-in-Chief of Scriptoeris and a multi-lingual journalist. She has also written for Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar, when not writing she enjoys travelling and shopping for (more) heels.

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