They refused to give their body measurements.
Miss Peru contestants have used the competition to highlight the plight of women and girls in their country, where gender-based violence goes largely unpunished.
And on Sunday, during the beauty event, they staged an awesome protest.
As you’re probably aware, contestants at these beauty pageants are required to give out their body measurements (bust-waist-hip) while introducing themselves. In one segment, the women – who represent different areas of the South American country – stand forward and imply they’re going to do just that.
But instead of giving these numbers, they all gave different facts concerning femicide and female violence in their country.
Karla Zabludovsky, BuzzFeed‘s Latin America correspondent, translated their statements:
‘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.’
‘My name is Melina Machuca, I represent the department of Cajamarca, and my measurements are: more than 80% of women in my city suffer from violence.’
‘My name is Juana Acevedo and my measurements are: more than 70% of women in our country are victims of street harassment.’
‘Almendra Marroquín here. I represent Cañete, and my measurements are: more than 25% of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools.’
‘My name is Luciana Fernández and I represent the city of Huánuco, and my measurements are: 13,000 girls suffer sexual abuse in our country.’
‘My name is Bélgica Guerra and I represent Chincha. My measurements are: the 65% of university women who are assaulted by their partners.’
‘My name is Romina Lozano and I represent the constitutional province of Callao, and my measurements are: 3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014.’
The organisers of the contest also displayed newspaper clippings behind the women as they spoke – perhaps most notably the bruised face of Lady Guile. Ronny Garcia was accused of kidnapping Guile in 2012, though he was released around the same time as Poso this summer, making her beaten face a rallying cry of social justice.
The final segment concluded with each woman being asked what laws they would alter to combat these gender violences.
The feminist uprising fighting violence against women in Peru has reached boiling point. A shocking video that was recorded last year in a hotel in Ayacucho, Peru, showed a naked Adriano Pozo dragging his girlfriend, trying to escape him, along by her hair.
He failed to receive any jail time, with a suspended sentence of one year and a roughly £1130 fine.
Broadly reported that protest organisers in Peru said this miscarriage of justice was the final straw for the growing women’s movements against female violence in Peru.
A protest promoter told them, ‘It was the drop that filled the glass. Many women felt like, if a video like this does not provide us any protection, it is pretty obvious that no one will protect us. The State is definitely not going to be there.’
So congratulations to the Miss Peru women taking their platform seriously and hopefully, if enough noise is made, this can make a difference for the women of Peru and otherwise.