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In what has been hailed as a massive breakthrough for transgender people in South Africa, the Miss South Africa competition recently announced that it will allow trans women to enter the competition.

Stephanie Weil, CEO of Miss South Africa, said that as an organisation they "believe that it's such a profound undertaking, that nothing should be taken away from the fact that trans women should enter Miss South Africa. Currently, we are sticking to the international regulation to ensure that we can move forward with it."

The organisation received some backlash over their decision to stick to the international regulations regarding trans women and beauty pageants. To be eligible to enter, transgender women must be in possession of a valid South African ID, reflecting that their amended gender is female when competing internationally.

SABC News spoke to trans model, Melody Seherrie, about the regulations, and how it makes it almost impossible for someone like her to enter.

"Changing your gender in South Africa is a very lengthy process, takes about a year and a half, and requires a substantial amount of money. And, before you actually have a gender marker change, you need psychological evaluations and certification that you can indeed have your gender marker changed."

Entries for the Miss South Africa pageant close on 24 June and the crowning will take place in October.

Image credit: The South African

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