LAS VEGAS, USA —In an international event contested by nearly 100 women from across the globe who travel to compete in the 66th Miss Universe competition, Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Wins Miss Universe 2017.
Nel-Peters defeated her closest competitor and first runner-up Miss Colombia Laura González and second runner-up Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett for the crown on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
The 22-year old Nel-Peters recently earned a degree in business management at North-West University in the United States before contesting for her country’s beauty pageant in which she came first place.
The South Africa’s Western Cape native, during a pre-taped interview, talked about how her experience of being held at gunpoint encouraged her to develop a passion for advocacy and supporting the training of women in self-defense.
Nel-Peters said she plans to bring that same passion, along with a self-defense program she helped develop, to the Miss Universe platform, if selected.
LIVE RECAP: MISS UNIVERSE 2017 LIVE STREAMING
During the competition’s Q&A portion, the newly crowned Miss Universe was
Asked about key issues facing women in the workplace during the competition’s question and answer period, Nel-Peters won the crown over with her strict-forward and endearing answers.
“In some places, women get paid 75% of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours — and I do not believe that this is right,” she said. “I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world,” she said.
Two other contestants, Miss Jamaica and Miss Colombia did impress the judges as well during the Q&A segment, brilliantly responding to questions on how to talk to children about terrorism and sexual harassment, respectively.
Bennett said: “Sexual harassment is a form of abuse and no abuse should be tolerated whether in the workplace or in society.” Adding, “I believe that men and women should come together and be professional,” she concluded.
According to program organizers, the competition’s top 13 finalists were Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Great Britain, USA, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Venezuela, and China.
Veteran African American radio, TV talk show host, producer, and businessman, Steve Harvey hosted the event for the third time, with Fergie and Rachel Platten performing.