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Beauty pageant contestants in the Miss Peru competition powerfully protested against gender violence

Instead of giving body measurements, they gave statistics about violence against women.

PastedImage-74104 Source: Youtube

ALTHOUGH IT’S WIDELY considered to be an outdated part of beauty pageants, in some countries, contestants are still asked to stand up on stage and list their body measurements (bust-waist-hip).

23 contestants of Miss Peru 2018 surprised the audience this year when they stood up and decided to list some other figures, in the hopes of changing how Peru and South America treat women.

Luciana Fernández of the city of Huánuco in Peru took to the stage and introduced herself. She then said:

My measurements are: 13,000 girls suffer sexual abuse in my country.

Camila Canicoba of Peru’s capital city Lima followed suit:

My measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years in my country.

Femicide is the term for the sex-based hate crime of killing of a woman or girl on account of their gender.

Source: Vocativ/YouTube

Melina Machuca of Cajamarca added her piece:

My measurements are: more than 80% of women in my city suffer from violence.

Buzzfeed’s Latin America correspondent Karla Zabludovsky translated the statements.

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Contestant Romina Lozano said:

I represent the constitutional province of Callao, and my measurements are: 3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014.

Juana Acevedo’s measurements were:

More than 70 percent of women in our country are victims of street harassment.

And Almendra Marroquín’s stated that her measurements were:

More than 25 percent of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools.

Bégica Guerra, who represented Chincha told the audience:

My measurements are: the 65 percent of university women who are assaulted by their partners.

As the women took part in the bathing suit competition, photographs of newspaper stories about women who had been murdered or assaulted by men were displayed in the background.

One of these clippings included a Peruvian TV host called Lady Guillén who shared a photo of face after her ex-boyfriend had beaten and kidnapped her in 2012.

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The organizers of the event felt that using the beauty pageant to raise awareness about this huge problem was a way to empower women.

After a video emerged last year that showed a naked Peruvian man dragging his girlfriend by the hair as she attempted to escape, people anticipated his incarceration. Women all over Peru were shocked when this man managed to walk away without serving any time in jail.

This was one of the major events that prompted protests like the one at Miss Peru.

“It was the drop that filled the glass. Many women felt like, if a video like this does not provide any protection, it is pretty obvious that no one will protect us. The state is definitely not going to be there.”

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Kelly Earley

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