Not 36-24-36, Contestants At This Pageant Shared Gender Violence Stats

Instead of giving their bust, waist and hip size, the contestants took turns reciting a litany of shocking facts about violence against women in Peru.

Not 36-24-36, Contestants At This Pageant Shared Gender Violence Stats

Miss Peru 2017, Romina Lozano (AFP Photo)

Contestants broke with tradition and turned the Miss Peru pageant into a protest highlighting violence against women in one of South America's most dangerous countries for females.

In elegant ball gowns, the 23 finalists in Sunday's televised pageant at the Lima Municipal Theatre gave voice to thousands of women who are victims of harassment, sexual and physical abuse, and murder.

Instead of giving their bust, waist and hip size, the contestants took turns  reciting a litany of shocking facts about violence against women in Peru.

"My name is Camila Canicoba, I represent Lima and my measurements are: 2,202 cases of feminicides reported in the last nine years in my country," one said.

"Eighty-one percent of people who attack young girls are close to the family," another said.

"One girl dies every 10 minutes due to sexual exploitation," said another. Yet another: "more than 70 percent of the women in Peru are  victims of street harassment." Each sharply delivered phrase shook the audience, which had been expecting traditional light entertainment.

"I think that the fact that you are looking at your regional representative, at the queen of your department, giving open and real figures about what happens in our country is alarming," contest organizer Jessica Newton told AFP.

"Unfortunately there are many women who do not know, and think they are isolated cases," said Newton, Miss Peru 1987.

So far this year, 82 women have been murdered and 156 cases of attempted murder have been registered against women in Peru, finalist Karen Cueto said from the stage.

The figures highlight Peru's ranking as second only to Bolivia as the country with the worst record of violence against women in South America, according to the Observatory of Citizen Security of the Organization of American States.

Newton said the pageant contestants themselves were no exception. Of the 150 who began the contest, five have been the victims of violence, including rape, she said.

The protest at the Miss Peru pageant reignited the 'Ni Una Menos' (Not One Woman Less) movement on social media as many began to applaud their courageous move:
 
Romina Lozano, representing Callao, said her plan would be to "implement a database containing the name of each aggressor, not only for feminicide but for every kind of violence against woman. In this way we can protect ourselves."

In the end, the judges elected her Miss Peru 2017.

Lozano will walk with the other contestants at the head of a march 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.Click for more trending news


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