Cape Town — It's not a secret that South Africa has seen high levels of violence against women across the country.
Thousands of women even took to the streets in September to protest at the government's failure to deal with violence against women in the wake of a string of brutal attacks that have shocked the country.
So it comes as no shock to see Miss South Africa taking a stand against this violent crime.
Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi has launched the #HeForShe campaign to mobilize men to stand together with women in the struggle against gender-based violence and the creation of an equal society for all.
This will be part of the United Nations solidarity campaign #HeForShe - which is urging men to stand up for women against gender-based violence.
President Cyril Ramaphosa described South Africa as one of "the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman". Ramaphosa promised that "the necessary amendments to our laws and policies to ensure that perpetrators of violence against women and children are brought to book" would be implemented.
Tunzi has asked men to write love letters to women and, in turn, the letters will be inscribed onto ribbons of fabric that will be used to form part of her national costume at the Miss Universe Pageant.
The beauty queen took to social media:
"I'm kindly asking South Africans to be part of the fabric of my Miss Universe National Costume by writing love letters that pledge support for the women of this country. It is my hope that these pledges will start, and continue, a conversation around gender-based violence."
"I am asking men to write love letters to the women of South Africa. Those letters will be inscribed onto ribbons of fabric that will be used to form a part of my national costume. So in essence, I will be wearing a love letter from SA men to Women."
We have to start the narration where right-thinking people act as role models for those who think it's okay to mistreat women.
That's my aim with my campaign.
To be part of my #MissSALoveLetter, make your pledge by visiting www.heforshe.org and share your message of love to the women of South Africa on Twitter and Facebook. By using #heforshe and #MissSALoveLetter as well as @official_misssa and @zozitunzi, your message of unity will be seen by the Universe.
Miss South Africa says she wants to shift perceptions around gender-based violence."Women are constantly being taught how to defend themselves against attack from men. I would like to shift the perception. I want to say that responsibility should no longer rest on the shoulders of women alone. I want the men of our nation to stand and take a stand against gender based violence ..."
Tunzi will represent South Africa at Miss Universe 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 8.