Miss Universe pageant to allow mothers and married women to compete


During the 48th Miss Universe pageant held in Trinidad and Tobago, the final question was "If Miss Universe were to become pregnant during her reign, should she be allowed to continue as Miss Universe?”

Botswana's Mpule Kwelagobe answered: "Personally, I think Miss Universe is a symbol of a woman as well as she's celebrating her femininity, and I believe that if she should fall pregnant it will not in any way interrupt her duties. I believe as a woman she should celebrate her femininity."

The then 19-year-old triumphed over Miriam Quiambao of the Philippines (first runner-up) and Diana Nogueira of Spain (second runner-up) to win the title of Miss Universe 1999, a historic first time for her country.

Fast forward to today, over 20 years later, the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has announced its decision to allow "women who are or have been married, as well as women who are pregnant or have children" to compete starting next year (Miss Universe 2023).

With the latest change in their rules, it is clear the organization headed by Paula Shugart (President) and Amy Emmerich (CEO) continues to "evolve with the changing of times to best represent and support women globally."

"Women should have agency over their lives, and that a human's personal decisions should not be a barrier to their success."

Photo: Miss Universe

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