Mar. 10, 2023
By Hailey Kurtenbach
Women in Hawai‛i, like many women across the world, are faced with several economic disparities and barriers that make it difficult to achieve greater financial stability.
According to data released by the National Women’s Law Center earlier this month, among all workers with earnings (including part-time and part-year workers), women in Hawai‛i make 77.2 cents for every dollar a man makes. For Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander women, the gap widens even further (56.3 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes).
With the ever-rising cost of living and lack of access to affordable childcare, it’s especially challenging for female-led and single parent households to imagine a brighter future. One local organization is looking to change this. When women support each other, they create a sense of community and solidarity that strengthens their collective wahine power. This idea is the core of what Aloha United Way Women United stands for.
Dedicated to creating opportunities for women to connect with resources and education that elevate their families, in 2022, AUW Women United raised and awarded a total of $75,000 in grant funding to the AUW ALICE Fund and three nonprofit agencies who provide critical programs and services to women and children on O‛ahu.
The Institute for Human Services Holohuma Na Wahine Program is one of AUW Women United's 2022 grant recipients. The program empowers female staff to strengthen their economic mobility through pursuing post-secondary education and continuing education. We had the honor of speaking with an inspiring scholarship recipient who returned to school thanks to this program. Here is one woman’s story of perseverance and hope.