Miss South Africa Crowned Miss Universe 2017
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is Miss Universe 2017.
Nel-Peters edged out Miss Colombia Laura González (first runner-up) and Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett (second runner-up) for the crown Sunday night in Las Vegas.
With a degree in business management at North-West University, Nel-Peters, 22 is passionate about training women in self-defence, after her experience being held at gunpoint. She is hoping to be an advocate for HIV/AIDs.
“HIV/AIDS is a very big problem in my country South Africa, so I hope to stand as an advocate for that,” she said after the event.
Nel-Peters also earned a yearlong salary, a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign and more prizes besides the title.
In the Q&A session, Nel-Peters said that lack of equal pay is the most important issue faced by women in the work place.
“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. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.”
The competition’s top 13 finalists were Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Great Britain, USA, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Venezuela and China. They were selected from the 91 other contestants.
“You feel so empowered because you are on a stage with 91 other women that are strong, that are independent, that have worked really hard. They are all winners; they are winners of their own countries, and to me, that was so empowering. That just showed me that if women take hands and stand together, we are unbreakable and we can say no to the things that are wrong in the workplace, at home or wherever you might go,” Nel-Peters said after the show.