Miss France 2018 fights violence against women

The Miss France 2018 contest has crowned this year’s overall winner and has dedicated the event to fighting violence against women.

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Maëva Coucke, who was Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais, was crowned overall Miss France 2018 last night [Saturday 16 December], at the 88th annual contest, broadcast only on French TV channel TF1 to an audience of 7.6 million viewers, reports explain.

The general director of the Miss France group, Sylvie Tellier - herself the winner of Miss France 2002, and pictured below, left - dedicated the ceremony to the cause of fighting violence against women, just months after the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse debacle first hit the headlines in the United States.

A black-and-white clip, named “The Miss work against violence towards women”, was broadcast during the ceremony, and included the phrase “I am free to choose who I want, I am free to say no...I am strong, confident, beautiful. I am me.”

Miss France 2016, Iris Mittenaere, also spoke, saying: “We must not forget that last year in France, every three days one woman dies due to violence from her husband.”

Marlène Schiappa, secretary of state in charge of equality between men and women, commended the event for using its platform to highlight this issue.

“[This will] raise awareness among many families that are sitting down to watch their televisions,” she said, writing in Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui en France this weekend. “The Miss can send a message to all French people!”

And yet, despite the message, feminist groups are yet to be convinced that the ceremony is a good thing, accusing the Miss France event - which includes elements such as “the swimsuit round”, in which the contestants walk around the stage wearing only swimsuits - as a “celebration of women as objects”.

Coucke, this year’s winner, will now take over from Alicia Aylies, Miss France 2017, who was the first ever Miss Guyana to win the crown.

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