70 Years of Discrimination

While the whole world gradually succeeds in fighting discrimination based on gender, race, sex, age, religion, beauty pageants such as Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Earth, and Miss International are still bastions of women’s rights discrimination.

Young mothers and girls who have lost their children still cannot participate. Victims of rape who decide to give birth to a child have closed doors too. Girls who have been married and widows are still not allowed to participate in beauty contests.

Motherhood should not prevent participation in beauty pageants. All women should have a right to participate in any beauty contest. Pageant organizers should be setting an example in female leadership. These high-profile global events have launched many women’s careers, but mothers and women who have been married are still being sidelined.

The 70th anniversary is a crucial milestone for Miss World. It’s an opportunity for the organizers to position themselves as a representative, modern institution. If beauty pageants want to remain relevant, they have to adapt and change. We would like to see Miss World and the other global beauty pageants lift all entry restrictions so that these competitions are truly representative of women. Otherwise, they risk being labeled a throwback to the 1950s, which bears no resemblance to today’s women’s roles in society and the family.

Many believe that beauty pageants have no place in society today. We believe inclusive beauty pageants can be empowering for women, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds.

We apply to the chairs of beauty pageants, particularly Julia Morley, a chair and CEO of Miss World Organization, to change these discriminatory rules and open a new chapter of women’s rights protection. Today, humanity has completely changed, and every woman should have a right to be a mother or not, be married or not, and be able to enter a beauty pageant she wants to.

We sign a statement to make a huge step towards equal women’s rights and break one more brick wall of restrictions. This year, there are 120 countries’ representatives in the Finals of Miss World. In most of these countries, women fight every day for their emancipation. So, why should women reject themselves with their own rules?

Believing in the profound changes, historical impact on society, and a bright future for every female, we sign this statement against women’s discrimination.

Veronika Didusenko, Miss Ukraine 2018,
Fashion Model & Founder of the Global Campaign