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.

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.