Local organizations gather to celebrate International Women’s Day

PUHI — They’re not protesting in a violent manner, nor are they protesting in silence.

Promoting equality and bridging the gap between men and women in a positive, non-violent way is what representatives from women’s organizations gathered to do Wednesday.

“This is about bringing attention to the rights of women and making sure they don’t get taken away. And that’s not just in this country, but worldwide,” said Emily Goldbach, co-chair of Kauai Women’s March. “We’re raising a voice that’s been too quiet in the past.”

Raising their voice of reason and calling for action along with Goldbach were representatives from ACLU, Kauai County Committee, YWCA of Kauai, Zonta Club of Kauai, Kauai Indivisible, Kauai Women’s March and Women’s March Hawaii.

The evening at the Kauai Performing Arts Center at Kauai Community College was not only a celebration of women, but also a showcase of what is to come.

“This is to remind people that the struggle has just begun again and that we are here to empower, educate and resist. We want to make sure that everyone has their voices be heard and have their message come across,” said Michael Golojuch Jr., co-chair Women’s March Hawaii.

Golojuch wanted women who attended to understand they are not voiceless and that every woman, regardless of race, economic background and social standing, can make their voices heard.

“Our goal is to make sure people understand the players at Legislature and state level, how to get their testimony in, what they have to do to make sure they make as much impact as possible,” he added.

The event kicked off at 4:30 p.m. and began with workshops from Joe Moss, Lisa Ellen Smith and Golojuch. A film by Kamala Lopez called “Equal Means Equal” was also shown to spotlight wage discrimination, poverty, domestic violence and other issues women face.

“We’re all learning how to be more and more empowered now. We can get these voices, and we can get these voices to be heard. Kauai is picking up,” said Smith, Kauai representative for Hawaii State Commission. “We need to get up and move and get this going.”

Goldbach said even if you’re involved with a certain organization or don’t like speaking out, that’s fine as long as you support others who do.

“I’m not afraid to make noise. I’m not one of those people,” Goldbach said. “When you’re this passionate and meet people who are so like-minded, it gives you confidence. And when people see that we’re doing this in a positive way, that’ll hopefully resonate with people and come join us.”

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