(LAS VEGAS) – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who represented South Africa, won the Miss Universe crown on Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who wants to use her reign to defend HIV / AIDS and the causes of self-defense, was crowned at the AXIS theater at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
“HIV / AIDS is a very big problem in my country, South Africa, so I hope to support it,” he told reporters after the event.
Along with the title, Nel-Peters earned a one-year salary, a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of his reign and more prizes. She is the second woman from her home country to win the crown.
The runner-up was Miss Colombia Laura González, while the second finalist was Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett.
Ninety-two women from all over the world participated in the competition decades ago. This year’s edition had the most contestants, including the first representatives in their history of Cambodia, Laos and Nepal.
When asked to name the most important problem women face in the workplace, Nel-Peters said there is no equal pay.
“In some places, women are paid 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same work, working in the same hours, and I do not think it’s right,” said Nel-Peters, who recently obtained a business management title. “I think we should have the same job for equal pay for women around the world.”
Nel-Peters is from the South African coastal community of Sedgefield in the Western Cape province. She helped develop a program to train women in self-defense in various situations after they robbed her at gunpoint a month after she was crowned Miss South Africa.
The issue of sexual harassment against women, which has dominated headlines in the US UU In the last two months, it was raised during the parade. In response to a question, Jamaica, Bennett, said that no form of abuse should be tolerated, including sexual harassment, and that any instance of sexual harassment should be presented to the authorities.
In the USA UU., Dozens of Hollywood politicians, executives and actors and media personalities face accusations of sexual misconduct, triggered by a wave of accusations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.
After the show, Nel-Peters said that women can empower each other to stand up against any abuse.
“You feel so empowered because you are on stage with 91 other women who are strong, who are independent, who have worked very hard,” he said. “They are all winners, they are winners from their own countries, and for me, that was so enriching, that just showed me that if women take their hands and join, we are unbreakable and we can say no to the things that are wrong in the workplace, at home or wherever you go. ”
Steve Harvey returned as the show host despite ruining the crowning of Miss Universe 2015. On Sunday, he made fun of his mistake all night. Three days after people in the United States celebrated Thanksgiving, Harvey told the audience he was “grateful for the Oscars,” referring to the best-looking film at this year’s Academy Awards. .
The Grammy winner, Fergie, performed her new song, “A Little Work,” while the contestants came down the stage wearing evening dresses. This year’s judges included YouTube star Lele Pons, former “Next Top Model” judge of the United States, Jay Manuel, and Wendy Fitzwilliam, the winner of Miss Universe 1998 of Trinidad and Tobago.
President Donald Trump offended Hispanics when he made anti-immigrant statements when he announced his candidacy for the White House in 2015. At the time, he was co-owner of The Miss Universe Organization with NBCUniversal, but the network and Spanish-language television network Univision quickly cut ties with him, refusing to air the show. Trump sued both networks, eventually liquidating and selling the entire contest to the talent management company WME / IMG.