Miss Universe appeals to governments, world leaders to stand against gender-based violence

Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi says the alarming number of women murdered by their 'brother, father and friend' should not go unnoticed.
Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi says the alarming number of women murdered by their 'brother, father and friend' should not go unnoticed.
Image: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi continues to highlight issues involving the plight of women worldwide.

In raising more awareness about the sourge of gender-based violence, Tunzi called on world leaders and governments to take a stand against femicide and “not protect abusers”.

She said the alarming number of women dying at the hand of their “brother, father and friend” should not go unnoticed. “Women are still being raped and murdered every day. She is your sister, your friend, your mother, your aunt, your grandmother, your child, your wife,” she said.

Highlighting that GBV affected everyone, she said: “This is done to her by your brother, your father, your friend, your uncle. These are people we know, so this makes it all our problem.”

Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa elected Tunzi as an ambassador for GBV in Africa, as he took the AU chairship.

“I'm talking to you governments, to you world leaders. I'm talking even to you sitting at home protecting an abuser. Women are dying. Women are dying,” said Tunzi.

A passionate activist, Tunzi has been calling for change and laying the foundation for girls and young women to try to break gender stereotypes.

On the night she was crowned Miss SA in September last year, she said: “We have absolutely no reason to keep smiling because South African women are dying every day and most people are doing nothing about it. It is not up to us, it’s up to perpetrators to start doing right.”

After winning the Miss Universe title in December, Tunzi said she wanted children to see their faces reflected in hers.

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful.

“And I think that it is time that that stops. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”


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