Priory in the City: Virtual Networking with Women Legislators
Class of 2021
“As a young woman,” Caidence ’21 said, “I believe it is important to attend the Hawaiʻi Women’s Legislative Caucus event because learning about issues is beneficial to the issue itself as well as our community as a whole.”
 
This year, the women’s caucus, hosted by the YWCA Oʻahu, shared five bills ranging from violence against women to women’s health and women in the workplace. Amelie ’21 said, “I sincerely believe that these bills could improve everyday life for women who are struggling just to make it through to another day.”
 
“It is important for us to be informed of the bills in process,” said Kuʻulei ‘21, “so that we know what could be coming in the future.”
 
HB567/SB830 considers women in the workplace and requires, where feasible, for state departments to allow government workers who act as caregivers to telework or use an alternative work schedule. Nicole ’21 asked what some students were wondering: “Might people slack off?” Others thought employees would be professional and appreciated the possibility of flexible work schedules in the future.
 
Hevani ‘21 is considering majoring in the medical field and wondered if there were any issues in the women’s legislative caucus package concerning healthcare. HB564/SB827 proposes to increase the categories of women required to be covered for mammogram screenings. It also requires health care providers to be reimbursed at rates accurately reflecting the resource costs specific to each service. Maia ’21 said, “My mom works in the medical field and does mammograms.”
 
“Within the last ten years,” Amelie ’21 reflected, “are there any issues or policies that have highly impacted women in our society? I want to be able to see how our community has evolved.” Similarly, Kara ’21 wondered, “In what ways has society improved for women? And in what ways can society improve?”
 
The women’s legislative caucus inspired the Priory in the City 12 class to think about important issues. Daelia ’21 asked, “What can we do as youth to advocate for laws and policies that can improve the climate crisis and encourage people to care about the health of our islands?” Mayuko ’21 said, “How can we strengthen mental health and support mental health care among the homeless?” Faith ’21 wondered, “Are there any other issues we need to consider?”
 
“I find attending these webinars to be very inspiring,” said Caidence ’21, “and being able to see many successful and strong women together and doing things they love motivates me to do things that are outside of my comfort zone!”
 
“With everything going on in the world, especially during this pandemic,” said Hevani ’21, “I believe it is important for Priory students to attend the Women’s Legislative Caucus event because as an all-girls school, having access to these opportunities can benefit us and future generations.”