DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Miss France who was hailed as the 65th Miss Universe 2017 in the Philippines was challenged by a women’s group here to fight against any form of violence faced by women all over the country.
Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere of France, 23 who said that she will be advocating for dental and oral hygiene was urged by Gabriela women’s group along with other candidates to consider proactive work in defense of women’s rights after the lights, media attention and youthful beauty fade into memory.
During the top 3 question and answer portion along with Miss Columbia and Miss Haiti, Mittenaere was asked to point out her a certain failure and what she learned about it.
The now-hailed Miss Universe answered that she already failed several times in her life.
“I thought I had failed my first year in medical school because my name wasn’t on the passing list. So, the very same day I went to buy a new set of medical books to keep on studying. I think when you fail, you need to stand up and keep going, we are all able to do so,” she said.
Mittenaere added that if she will not win the title of Miss Universe 2017, she will still continue smiling.
“I am proud to be part of the three finalists. I have learned a lot from my failures and happily, I did end up passing my first year of medical school and If tonight, I am not one of the winners, I will still have the great honor of being one of the three finalists. So I think if I have failed before, but for me this is a great first opportunity,” she said.
Meanwhile, Joms Salvador, GABRIELA secretary general urged those who aspired to join and win beauty pageant such as this Miss Universe to use their beauty, talent and popularity in the service of exposing and fighting the different forms of violence women faced.
“Even as public attention feasted on this pageant bare the horrid reality of rampant abuse of women in a country that prides itself as a global leader in gender equality,” she said.
Salvador even cited the recent arrest of Liezyl Margallo at Malapascua Island, Cebu for continuing the child pornography trade along with her convicted Australian pedophile boyfriend Peter Gerard Scully, and the rape done by Police Inspector Aaron Cabillan of a 34-year old woman worker in Calamba, Laguna.
“Real empowerment for women is real only if the exploitative and abusive treatment of our women and children are eliminated. Former beauty queens like Maita Gomez and Nelia Sancho realized that they can do more for women by leaving behind commercialized glitz and glamor that masked the everyday tragedy of women, and participating in their struggles to fight exploitation and slavery,” Salvador said.
Meanwhile, the Gabriela secretary general said win or lose, Miss Philippine candidate Maxine Medina’s prestige can help focus attention on the continuing battle to end violence against women and children.
Salvador even invited Medina to rise with millions of women worldwide for the One Billion Rising Revolution on February 14 in any of the city events in the Philippines or other countries.(davaotoday.com)