Vandana Sharma, from Edinburgh, is set to fly the flag for Scotland at Mrs Universe 2018, a global beauty contest which sees women compete in public speaking, catwalk, and supporting their nominated causes and charities.
Vandana aims to use this platform to help empower women and raise awareness on issues such as gender inequality and education for women…
When I moved to Scotland from Delhi 11 years ago, I started following my dreams. My husband first secured a job in Edinburgh and I decided to follow him. It was a bit difficult to adjust my life at first, but then I came across a Facebook group for beauty pageants. It was inviting Indian British women, who are based in Scotland, to compete and support charities along the way. It really caught my attention.
I want to make a difference and help to empower women all over the world. After coming across the Facebook page, I started competing in different pageants. I’m now aiming for the title of Mrs Universe 2018. This will be held in the Philippines in December 2018, and is a 10 day long competition for women between 25 and 45 years of age, who are married, have a family and also a career.
Through beauty pageants, I’m aiming to raise my voice against gender inequality and support education for women. I’ve been involved with an ethnic minority charity in Edinburgh, called Nari Kallyan Shangho, which supports women from various backgrounds and cultures who have been affected by these issues.
I think it is so important to raise awareness. This new platform has given me a starting point to help make a difference. I’m also able to help women in India too as I support Nanhi Kali, a group based in Mumbai. Together we promote female education and aim to close the gap on equality.
“I believe beauty pageants can bring women of different backgrounds and cultures together to make a difference to society.”
I’ve kept in touch with women back home on how I’m campaigning for these issues. We all want to bring change but it’s difficult to know where to start… beauty pageants have given me this opportunity. I believe they encourage you to make a difference and bring change to make others’ lives better.
Images supplied by Vandana Sharma.