South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters Is Miss Universe 2017

South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has just been crowned as this year's Miss Universe.

The 22-year-old beauty bested 91 other contestants on Sunday, Nov. 26. Prior to being crowned as the winner, Nel-Peters competed against first runner-up, Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez, and second runner-up, Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett in the question and answer round.

Nel-Peters was asked to name an important issue that women face in the workplace every day. "In some places, women get 75 percent of what men earn for doing the same job, working the same hours - and I do not believe this is right. I think we should have equal work for equal pay for women all over the world," said Nel-Peters.

The Cape Town native, who just earned her business management degree at North-West University, also won the hearts of the judges and fans with her inspiring story. Not only did she manage to complete her undergraduate degree, she was also able to put up a self-defense program after being held at gunpoint. She wants women to have the same passion for learning self-defense.

Miss Universe 2017 Runner-Up Responses

Meanwhile, Gonzalez and Bennett also wowed the judges with their responses to the question and answer round. Miss Colombia was asked how she thinks adults can talk to children about terrorism. Bennett, on the other hand, talked about the ramifications of sexual abuse.

Final Miss Universe 2017 Question

At the end of the competition, all three runners-up were asked the same question: "What quality in yourself are you most proud of and how will you apply that to your time as Miss Universe?"

Bennett talked about her drive and determination and said that those are the two qualities that will set her apart from the competition. Gonzalez said that she's very passionate about the things she does. This year's winner, Nel-Peters, talked about the importance of being confident.

"You have to be confident in who you are as an individual. Miss Universe is one who has overcome many fears and will inspire other women too, to overcome their fears," Nel-Peters said.

Nel-Peters is the second South African contestant to be crowned as Miss Universe. Margaret Gardiner also won the title in 1978. Following her big win this year, Nel-Peters will be rewarded with a year-long salary from the Miss Universe team, a luxury apartment in New York City, and more.

She is also expected to appear in various television shows in the United States and other parts of the world. Nel-Peters will also be promoting her advocacies across the globe and will be traveling to different countries.

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