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Girls & Women

Costa Rican Women Wore ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Costumes to the Polls

Several women at Costa Rica’s polls on Sunday took a page out of Margaret Atwood’s book “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Wearing the crimson robes and white bonnets made iconic by the Hulu television series adaptation, the women took to polling stations to protest against presidential candidate Fabricio Alvarado’s proposed policies, Salon reported.

Alvarado — a former television journalist and an evangelical Christian singer — is a popular candidate who has campaigned on a platform that opponents say is anti-LGBTQ and women’s rights. Alvarado has also threatened to withdraw Costa Rica from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, if elected, according to the New York Times.

“We protest in favor of a secular state that celebrates all liberties because there’s still a lot of work to do before reaching true equality,” eight of the protesters said in a statement explaining their actions and attire. “We vote for our rights. We vote for our safety. We vote for our freedom.”

“The Handmaid’s Tale” television show takes place in a dystopian version of the US, governed by a dictator, where women have been stripped of their rights and are most valued for their fertility. By donning the characters’ costumes, the protesters hoped to draw attention to the current state of women’s rights in Costa Rica and the potential for those rights to backslide.

“We face a landscape where the material conditions for women have been a topic neglected by media and most political parties,” the women said. “Most political proposals towards women have to do with caring for others, and an apparent obligation to reproduce.”

The group of protesters were not the first to put on the show’s red cloaks to make a political statement. Women in several US states, including Texas, Ohio, and New York, wore the same robes and bonnets to protest bills restricting access to women’s healthcare and family planning services last year, the New York Times reported.

Read more: 12 Times Women Nevertheless Persisted in 2017

Alvarado has advanced to the next round of the election, according to the New York Times, but Costa Rica’s new president will only be determined after the next round of voting on April 1.

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