Women’s March Maui 2018 spreads messages of empowerment


Photo by Analicia Kapua

Youth of all ages came in support of womenʻs rights and general equality on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Women’s March Maui 2018.

KAHULUI — On Saturday Jan. 20, a mass of marchers showed up at Women’s March Maui 2018. Some reported numbers in the low hundreds, while organizers reported numbers in the thousands in the coverage by Maui Now.

According to the event flyer, “Women, men and children [were] invited to join [and] be seen and counted in global solidarity to proclaim the importance of social and economic equality for all.”

The national Women’s March organizational mission is to support women’s rights and to raise awareness of violence, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, and environmental justice. 

This is the second annual national and Maui Women’s March. The Maui group started from the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College and looped around Kaʻahumanu Mall, and activists such as Annie Nelson, the wife of singer Willie Nelson, and Cris Simmons, the wife of country singer Pat Simmons, marched along.

“Standing together and showing that we’ve had enough is the most important thing to do,” Annie Nelson said. “Women need equal rights and then they can move forward. If women are given parity, then that in itself will be the catalyst for change. We just need to demand equal rights.”

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During the march, women, men and children cheered and held signs in the air. Each sign delivered its own message.

Many adolescents participated, one of these teens being junior Zofia Kayian from Seabury Hall.

“My purpose in participating in an event such as this is to fight for the rights that women deserve to have,” Kayian said. “This march is a way that students like myself can participate and fight for something that is a huge issue in the world. When we’re young, it seems as though we can’t do much but being a part of this march makes us feel like we’re participating in the revolution.”

Many speakers took to the loudspeaker system to deliver passionate speeches for the event. Cris Simmons said that she taught her daughter from a young age to be an activist.

“You have to have strong women, you have to be them, know them and raise them,” she said. “We are one, and we are not going to stand to be oppressed and be around people who are bigots and racists. It’s powerful to come together as women and as human beings.”