New Miss Universe Will Focus on AIDS in South Africa
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who represented South Africa, won the Miss Universe crown Sunday. The 22-year-old, who wants to use her reign to champion HIV/AIDS and self-defense causes, was crowned at The AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip, CBS News reports.
«HIV/AIDS is a very big problem in my country South Africa, so I hope to stand as an advocate for that,» she said before reporters after the event.
When asked to name the most important issue women face in the workplace, Nel-Peters said the lack of equal pay.
«In some places, women get paid 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours, and I do not believe that is right,» said Nel-Peters, who recently earned a business management degree. «I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over 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 she was robbed at gunpoint a month after she was crowned Miss South Africa.
Ninety-two women from around the world participated in the decades-old competition. This year’s edition had the most contestants ever, including the first representatives in its history of Cambodia, Laos and Nepal.