01/11/2017 10:37 AM AEDT | Updated 01/11/2017 10:37 AM AEDT

Miss Peru Contestants List Violence Against Women Stats Instead Of Their Measurements

Half of all women in Peru experience severe physical violence in their lifetime.

Miss Peru
Violence against women in Peru is alarmingly high.

In the Miss Peru pageant, it's customary for contestants to approach the microphone, introduce themselves and then rattle off their bust, waist and hip measurements.

This year the numbers were a little different.

Instead of stating their body measurements, each contestant offered a statistic about violence against women to emphasise the widespread nature of the problem in Peru.

The first to speak was Camila Canicoba.

"I represent the department of Lima," Canicoba said at the event. "My measurements are: 2,202 cases of murdered women reported in the last nine years in my country."

Juana Acevedo said, "My measurements are: more that 70 percent of women in our country and victims of street harassment."

Another contestant Melina Machuca from the region of Cajamarca gave her measurements as, "More than 80 percent of women in my city suffer from violence."

Pageant winner Romina Lozana gave her measurements as,"3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014".

Following the protest during the event's opening, the hashtag #MisMedidasSon -- 'my measurements are' --began trending in Peru.

This protest was planned and violence against women was a theme throughout the entire competition. During the swimsuit segment, huge images of victims were flashed across screens behind the contestants. During the question-answer section, entrants were asked how they would change the Peruvian legal code to better protect women.

Miss Peru
Images of victims were used as part of the contestant's protest.

Violence against women in Peru is alarmingly high. A report released by Human Rights Watch says the Peru Minister of Women's Affairs reported 96 cases of 'femicide' -- the killing of a woman through domestic violence and gender-based discrimination -- in 2014, and 52 between January and July 2015.

One United Nations study found that more than 60 percent of women in Peru experience some form of physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime. This horrifying statistic places Peru at the very top of this category. Almost 50 percent of women in Peru experience severe physical violence.