Mrs Universe 2017 contestants jet into Durban

The seven-day 2017 Mrs Universe programme kicks off on Saturday, 26 September, with more than 80 countries represented at this year’s global women empowerment event. The winner will be crowned at Durban’s Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 2 September.
The programme includes the #OneVoice march against gender-based violence, child abuse and human trafficking, and visiting schools in the greater Durban area to inspire children and stress the importance of education and self-development. Mrs Universe is a women empowerment initiative that acknowledges married women between the ages of 25 and 45 who are doing phenomenal work to uplift and enhance their local communities through CSI initiatives, business development and global trade opportunities.

Empowering Women. Creating Change

Speaking at the briefing at the Riverside Hotel, Mrs Universe 2017 hosting director: Africa and Durban resident Tracey-Anne Aggett emphasised the event’s theme, Empowering Women. Creating Change: “Every aspect of this event is geared towards connecting countries from around the world so we can fight the global crisis of gender-based violence, child abuse and human trafficking. We want to stand with one voice with every victim and at the same time educate young women about their rights. All the contestants have their own inspiring stories of overcoming vast challenges to achieve phenomenal things. We are using Mrs Universe as the platform to share this message that despite challenges and setbacks, women can go on to achieve, both on a personal and professional level, making meaningful contributions to their respective communities.”

eThekwini councillor Richard Hlope, who represented the city at the media briefing as well as the civic organisation South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO), stressed the importance of the women empowerment theme of Mrs Universe 2017 and highlighted the fact that it synergises with the municipality’s women empowerment and gender-based education programmes.

#OneVoice march

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede will lead the #OneVoice march on 30 August from King Dinizulu Park to the Durban City Hall. Simultaneous peaceful protests will be held across the world. Mrs Universe contestants from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, India, USA, Ukraine, North Asia and Gibraltar, to name a few, have organised #OneVoice marches in their home countries to coincide with the Durban event. Interest groups and individuals from around SA who cannot travel to Durban will be hosting their own #OneVoice activations on a smaller scale.

“We’ve been truly humbled by the support,” says Aggett. “The interest from men and women across the country has been overwhelming and inspirational. People want their voices heard and action to be taken. As South Africans and as members of a global community, we want to amplify awareness and steamroll action plans.”

Tickets for the Mrs Universe 2017 World Final on 2 September 2017 are available at Computicket. For more information, visit www.mrsuniverse2017.co.za, email logistics@mrsuniverse2017.co.za or call 072 106 2564.

Images by Abhi Indrarajan

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