For the first time since the first Miss South Africa pageant in 1956, divorced, married and pregnant women will be allowed to contest for the crown from next year.
Miss SA reportedly made the announcement that the longstanding restrictions would be scratched during the finale of Miss SA 2022 at the SunBet Arena’s Time Square on Saturday, 13 August in Tshwane.
This is after the global Miss Universe competition announced it would remove the rules first, The Philippine Star reported on 8 August. The restriction has prevented many models with the potential to hold the title from contesting.
“Effective with the 72nd Miss Universe competition and national preliminary competitions leading up to it, women who are or have been married, as well as women who are pregnant or have children, will be able to compete,” reads an email reportedly sent by Miss Universe CEO Amy Emmerich to national directors.
“The feedback was overwhelming that we all believe women should have agency over their lives, and that a human’s personal decision should not be a barrier to their success,” she continued.
Upon hearing the news, Miss Universe Honduras, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic made similar changes to their local pageants.
While Harnaaz Sandhu from India still holds the crown for Miss Universe, the pageant organisers have not yet announced the date and venue for the next Miss Universe competition, although numerous news organisations have published the rumour that La Ville–Lumière in France will likely be the place to hold the pageant.