MNA Culture & Entertainment Desk: Beauties from across the globe converged in Las Vegas Sunday, where Miss South Africa was crowned Miss Universe.
Nel-Peters is only the second South African to win the title after Margaret Gardiner won the title in 1978. Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations.
Nel-Peters beat out first runner-up Miss Colombia Laura González and second runner-up Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett for the crown Sunday night in Las Vegas.
During a pre-taped interview, the Western Cape native talked about how her experience being held at gunpoint made her passionate about training women in self-defense. She plans to bring that passion, along with a self-defense program she helped develop, to the Miss Universe platform.
During the competition’s Q&A portion, the newly crowned Miss Universe was asked about the most important issue she thought was facing women in the workplace.
“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.”
The competition’s top 13 finalists were Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Great Britain, USA, Brazil, Canada, Philippines, Venezuela and China.
In the pageant’s 66th year, nearly 100 women from around the globe — including first-timers from Cambodia, Laos and Nepal — took part.
The current Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere from France, crowned her successor to a din of squeals and cheers.