The new Miss Universe is teaching everyone self-defence for a very important reason

And it’s incredibly empowering.

miss universe
(Image credit: Rex)

And it’s incredibly empowering.

The Miss World contest came to an end on Sunday night, with the new Miss Universe crowned as Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, beating out the other 92 competitors.

The 22-year-old represented South Africa in the competition - and after seeing her campaign platform dedicated to female self defence skills, we can definitely see why she won.

‘As Miss South Africa, I was able to launch my own campaign called Unbreakable,’ the new Miss Universe explained. ‘My campaign consists of getting specialists in their field together to equip women around South Africa with the necessary skills and knowledge on how to empower themselves - not only emotionally, but physically as well.’

Demi-Leigh chose self defence as the focus of her campaign as it was an issue close to her heart, with the 22-year-old herself being hijacked and held at gunpoint just one month after winning Miss South Africa.

Now she’s making sure other women are better equipped than she was to deal with the situation - and it’s incredibly inspiring.

‘I think the important thing is to know that we all have things as humans that we go through,’ she explained. ‘It’s OK not to have a perfect life and it’s OK to have emotion, and have feelings. If we are able to express our feelings more and share them with others, it’s so much easier to work through when you know there are people holding your hands and walking through this with you.’

And it’s not just violence that the new Miss Universe is keen to tackle, with the 22-year-old also voicing her thoughts on global women's rights - in particular the gender pay gap, advocating for equal pay.

‘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,’ she explained. ‘I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world.’

It looks like the world needs more people like Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters - we can’t wait to see what she achieves!

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.