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Miss Peru Pageant Calls out Latin American Femicide During Staged Protest

Miss Peru Pageant Calls out Latin American Femicide During Staged Protest

(César Campos/Perú21)

On October 29th, candidates for Miss Perú 2018 took the stage by storm blasting out facts on violence against women in the country instead of traditionally stating their bust-waist-hip measurements.

The 23 women represented every region in Perú and gave statistics on physical and psychological violence, sexual abuse, harassment and sexual exploitation amongst others. My name is Camila Canicoba,” said one contestant, “and I represent the department of Lima. My measurements are: 2,202 cases of murdered women reported in the last nine years in my country.” Another stated, “Almendra Marroquín here. I represent Cañete, and my measurements are: more than 25% of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools.”  

Romania Lozano, who ended up winning the contest, said her “measurements are 3,114 female victims of trafficking since 2014.” Twitter responded with the viral hashtag #MisMedidasSon or “#MyMeasurementsAre.”

The protest, which was planned, featured photos of victims of gender violence on a large screen behind the contestants during one portion of the competition.

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Cases of femicide have been prominent throughout Latin America. The United Nations cites a 2016 Small Arms Survey that of the 25 nations with the highest femicide rate, 14 are in Latin America. The  Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean or (ECLAC) says 12 women are murdered in the region daily. As of 2015, UN Women has worked with 16 Latin American countries to add laws specifically criminalizing violence against women, including Perú.

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Protests under the slogan #NiUnaMenos or “#NotOneWomanLess” have become widespread across Latin America in recent years. Last August brought over 50,000 Peruvian women together to denounce gender violence.

However, there is still plenty that needs to be done. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, “women and girls in Perú remain at high risk of gender-based violence,” and that over 700 women were murdered between 2009 and 2015. 

View Comments (2)
  • Excellent use of media! Certainly this got attention esp. in receptive places and audiences….like Beverly Hills, etc. However this is just one stone thrown. They/you/we have to have plans for campaigns that last longer than a month or two. We all become gradually numb to media events one after another,,,,which is what US cuture is good at….People are hoping for a movie, right?………Inequality and therefore exploitation of the cheaper resource (a woman’s body/dignity) begins at home….And who is the undisputed ruler of the home?…………………a clue (it isn’t the father)……………………… so what am I saying? I am saying that both me AND my wife …….your mother and father… parents we are involved in this situation……and some of you……will be mothers of sons who grow up and play sexual power games in the office, school, whereever……….this is a cultural change which needs to take place, and it can’t be done individually, It requires communities for mutual support,,,and it has to be something that is taught/modeled/ discussed daily or almost every day,,,,,or once a week,…..or once a month……how about once a year at a restaurant?

  • What I love most about the protest is seeing women stand up for each other especially at an event where they are put up to compete against one another. At this event where these women were mainly being judged for their looks, they took the opportunity to instead speak about the high rates of gender violence in their home countries, knowing very well it would be streamed all over the media and therefore bring lots of attention. This goes to show what a powerful tool the media can be in bringing awareness to multiple issues. Unfortunately, the main problem with the media is that when a protest such as this occurs, it trends for a certain amount of time and is then forgotten by the world once another news story pops up. As Joe mentions in the below comment, there is a serious problem about how we as a society need to take these issues seriously enough to not only applaud the people who bring awakeners to these issues, but to actually do something about it. It is from there where actual change can begin. Don’t get me wrong, the form in which these women protested was absolutely amazing, but the only problem I’m trying to get at is what we as a society have to do next in order to solve these issues. I’m sure there are many who have noticed that anytime an issue is brought to light through social media, it can quickly disappear when another news story pops up, which is the ultimate problem of social media. People tend to quickly forget the terrible things that are happening in the world that require social change in order to make the world a better place because we are so often looking for the next headline to put our attentions to, forgetting about the people who need us to fight for them. The biggest question/concern that comes my mind after reading this article is this: how can we as a society work together to overcome the serious problems that affect those around us in order to make the world a better place?

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