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MANILA, Philippines – Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe organization, has confirmed that the pageant will now allow moms and wives to participate in the competition.
In an interview with ANC, Shugart talked about the upcoming changes they’ll be making in the pageant.
“We did not want to be in a position that we are precluding someone from competing if they felt that they can handle that job. If you know what the job description is, which we’re really going to make sure that everyone is aware [of]. They need to be able to handle that job as a Miss Universe, whether they have a family or not,” she said.
In its more than 70-year history, the Miss Universe organization has only allowed single women, aged between 18 and 28, who “must not have ever been married, not had a marriage annulled, nor given birth to, or parented a child” to compete.
The ANC report, however, added that while the upcoming edition will no longer be limited to single women, candidates should still be between ages 18 to 28.
Shugart continued, “Now, women are able to have families, they’re able to have a job, they’re able to be a spokesperson. We should not be the ones to say, ‘You can’t do this.’”
Speculations about the rule changes started in August 2022, when several pageant pages claimed that a memo announcing the changes in eligibility rules had been sent to the pageant’s national directors. According to the alleged memo that was leaked online, married or divorced women, as well as women who are pregnant or have children, are eligible for the pageant starting on its 72nd edition, which will take place in 2023.
The Miss Universe 2022 competition is the pageant’s 71st edition. The coronation night is confirmed for January 2023.
A more detailed announcement about the pageant’s changes in eligibility has yet to be made. – Rappler.com
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