When it comes to squashing societal and cultural norms, beauty pageants aren't usually leading the charge. This year's Miss Peru pageant, however, took a turn from bikini sizes and toward a serious issue affecting the country.

The 23 contestants of Miss Peru 2018 used their platform onstage to discuss the widespread femicide happening in their country and beyond.

Femicide, known as "gender-based violence," is widespread in Peru, with more than 700 women killed between 2009 and 2015.

During the pageant's bathing suit segment — which is when the contestants were supposed to read off their body measurements — each woman instead read a statistic about female violence.

The segment was surprising and unexpected, but it was a powerful, necessary choice. Each woman proudly came to the microphone, introduced herself, and shed light on the issue with a shocking piece of data.

“My name is Karen Cueto," one contestant said. "My measurements are 82 femicides and 156 this year so far.” 

"My measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years in my country," said Camila Canicoba, from Lima.

The statistics highlighted the prevalence of sexual assault, street harassment, domestic violence, and more.

The effort goes hand-in-hand with an anti-violence feminist campaign called Ni Una Menos.

The movement began as an Argentine effort in 2015, but quickly spread to other Latin American countries. The campaign is a self-described "collective cry against machista violence."

Last year, thousands took to the streets in protest of the ongoing violence happening to women every day.

These Peruvian beauty queens certainly helped contribute to this effort.

Revivamos momentos de la final. #MissPeru2018

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