The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) held an event to launch Haumea: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Women and Empowering Wāhine Well-Being, a 150-page report on the well-being of Native Hawaiian females. The launch of the report came ahead of National Women’s Health Week, which is May 13-19, 2018.
About 100 leaders and representatives of various Native Hawaiian-serving organizations, state agencies, and not-for-profit organizations attended the launch event, which included presentations and speeches about the importance of the study’s findings as well as discussions on recommendations and next steps. Haumea coincides with May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, when communities across the United States celebrate the unique cultural heritage of Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians, and Asian Americans.
Haumea builds upon Kānehōʻālani: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Men, OHA’s 2017 report on the well-being of Native Hawaiian men. This year’s Haumea report is grounded in data gleaned from various state departments, federal survey systems, among other sources. However, what sets Haumea’s apart from previous research is its wide-ranging scope and cultural emphasis toward solutions and systems advocacy.
“OHA’s goal with this report is to raise the profile of the health challenges and inequities facing our native women so we can have an open discussion within our community, with the broader public and with decision-makers about how to move forward with solutions,” said Dr. Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, OHA Chief Executive Officer/Ka Pouhana.
This new publication examines important issues impacting Native Hawaiian females from keiki to kupuna, including mental and emotional well-being, suicidality, physical health, chronic diseases, maternal and child health, intimate partner violence, incarceration, economic wellness, poverty rates, underrepresented occupations, gender wage gaps, and much more. The report also underscores the importance of investing in community and culture as a source of resilience and well-being for Native Hawaiians. Haumea includes system-wide recommendations for policy and programmatic consideration to help elevate women’s well-being as a priority in Hawaiʻi.
OHA is developing a similar report on the health of Native Hawaiian ‘ohana, slated for release in 2019, which will feature a focus on families, including transgender non-binary research, data, and recommendations.
Quotes from wāhine:
Kealoha Fox, Ka Pou Kākoʻo Nui (Executive Manager to the CEO), Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Kealoha led the research process in gathering and compiling the data within the Haumea Report, and was the lead author of the report.
“The Haumea Report is a pretty comprehensive initiative and it started with in-depth research and discussion with community leaders and experts that are really interested in helping to address the health and well-being of Native Hawaiian women and girls. And so the report itself is six different chapters and they each have a unique identity that touch on really specific areas where we can make concrete improvements, make policy changes, and create collaborative solutions that will improve the health and well-being of wāhine, not just for this generation but we hope for generations to come.”
Diane Paloma, first female CEO, Lunalilo Homes. Diane is a contributor to the chapter on Leadership and Civic Engagement in the Haumea Report.
“So my perspective on the things that we can do now to create better health and well-being for Hawaiian women is really some critical things that really don’t have to do a lot specifically with health in terms of disease management or illness, but it’s things like equity – salary equity, respect for women, respect for our kūpuna, respect for our mothers – these are so critical in building this long pipeline of wāhine leaders and mana wāhine who are in the community doing their work every day, no matter what industry you’re in. And I think that if we elevate those elements of mana wāhine, that’s how we get to Native Hawaiian health and well-being.”
Leinaʻala Bright, Cultural Health Specialist, Waimānalo Health Center. Leinaʻala is a contributor to the chapter on Physical Health in the Haumea Report.
“You know, when you look at the big picture and you look what’s going on to our culture and our people, it’s just so sad. And so going from there, looking at our women involved in the criminal system and all the horrible things that are happening, I decided to go down into the family. And we start with our family and we start with our women. You know, the women, we’re the piko of the family. When we start making slight changes, it just blossoms through the family and the healing grows from there.”
Read more on OHA.org.