This beauty pageant has a twist: women judge male contestants
LOCATION: Agadez, Niger
‘Gerewol’ is a traditional beauty contest in Niger
held every year by Wodaabe men and an all-female panel
(SOUNDBITE) (French) 22-YEAR-OLD WODAABE BEAUTY CONTEST PARTICIPANT, BEJI, SAYING:"Now we are going to the Gerewol, to show our beauty, Gerewol is for beauty, the man has to be tall, have long arms, he needs to be handsome."
The contestants perform a dance known as 'Yaake'
and are judged on their suitability as husbands
(SOUNDBITE) (Fulani) MEMBER OF GEREWOL BEAUTY CONTEST JURY, MOUDE, SAYING:"If there are handsome men, women will choose them to get married. Women choose who they want to get married with. During the festival we choose the most handsome men but also our husbands."
Each member of the jury chooses her favorite contestant
and can take him as her partner
even if both are already married