H.C.R. NO.














affirming the legislature's commitment to full and equal rights for women.




WHEREAS, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace and it is essential that human rights should be protected by the rule of law; and


WHEREAS, all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and are entitled without discrimination to all of the rights and freedoms granted under the law and by society, including life, liberty, security of person, and recognition of such before the law; and


WHEREAS, in the words of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, "women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's right"; and


WHEREAS, all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection against discrimination or incitement to discrimination, including through the exercise of effective remedy for acts violating fundamental rights; and


WHEREAS, there is a growing recognition that women have been shamefully denied full rights and protections under the law throughout much of Western history, long having been considered as legal chattel and denied the exercise of full personhood; and


WHEREAS, although the status of women in contemporary American society represents a hard-won improvement over that of previous generations and that still experienced by many women across the world, women both here and abroad remain subject to both de jure and de facto inequality; and

WHEREAS, women still earn significantly less than men in the workforce and face gender-based discrimination including harassment and assault that affects access to economic and social opportunity, benefits, and advancement; and


WHEREAS, women and girls are exponentially more likely to experience sexual violence, family violence, and abuse within the home than their male counterparts; and


WHEREAS, women's opportunities for full participation in public and community life across the world remain hobbled by outdated stereotypes, unfair policies, lack of control of their own health care, and other manifestations of systemic and pervasive misogyny; and


WHEREAS, while Hawaii is not immune to the effects of gender bias, the State has a robust history of recognizing women's rights that dates back to Kaahumanu, wife of Kamehameha II and the most influential advisor to the early Kamehameha dynasty, continues through the monarchy as exemplified by Liliuokalani's progressive and steadfast leadership in the face of unimaginable adversity, and persists to the present; and


WHEREAS, in the modern era, Hawaii can claim responsibility for a wide array of women's rights milestones, including the election of Patsy Mink, the first Asian American woman to serve in Congress and the driving force behind Title IX, which established women's right to equal educational opportunity in federal law; passage of the country's first legislation to guarantee women the full range of reproductive health options; and production of women leaders in the areas of activism, art, politics, and sport; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-ninth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2017, the Senate concurring, that the Legislature reaffirms its commitment to advancing the equal rights of women under the law and in society; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, the Mayors of the Counties of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui and the City and County of Honolulu, and the Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women.









Report Title:

Women's Rights; Reaffirming Legislature's Commitment