Molokai’s Women’s March


Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

Nearly 100 Molokai residents joined more than two million worldwide in the Women’s March movement that took place last Saturday.

Inspired by an initial initiative to march on Washington, D.C. corresponding to Donald Trump’s first full day as President, hundreds of thousands of people around the world rallied, voicing a variety of sentiments. Some marched for women’s rights, others made a statement against Trump, and still others championed equal rights for all. Though officially called the Women’s March, the event featured participants of all ages and genders. In more than 700 cities, towns and villages — in locations that included the near Arctic Circle, the Congo, France, Iceland, Israel, Mexico, Serbia, the U.K., and across Hawaii — residents joined to make a powerful statement. Many donned pink for the occasion, and some wore knitted pink hats in reference to lewd remarks made by Trump, or held signs expressing their views.

At the Washington rally, more than half a million people flocked to the city’s center — one of the biggest demonstrations in the capital’s history — and more than double the turnout for Trump’s inauguration the previous day. Molokai’s Emillia Noordhoek flew to D.C. to participate in the march there.

Molokai jumped on board just days before the planned march, organized by longtime resident Frances Feeter.

“This was very spur of the moment, when our daughter, Christi, discovered Monday that Molokai and Lanai were the only Hawaiian islands without a march scheduled,” explained Feeter. “So she said, ‘Why don’t we do it?'”

They spread the word on bulletin boards and social media, and Feeter said she was amazed by how many people turned out on Saturday.


Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol

“This is an all-inclusive, non-partisan march for women, men and children to stand together for the protection of women’s rights, safety and the importance of vibrant, diverse communities,” said Feeter as marchers gathered in front of the Molokai Public Library. “We need to protect the rights of all, including the LGBT rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom and the rights of people of color.”

The group of more than 75 walked from the library lawn down Ala Malama to the baseball park. Molokai signs included the humorous, clever and heartfelt. “Tweeting is for the birds,” read one, referencing Trumps frequent use of social media platform Twitter. “My body, my choice,” “Equality is Aloha Spirit,” “Climate Change… Not a Hoax,” and “Build Bridges, Not Walls,” were just a few more. Still another sign read: “Strong Women: May we know them, May we be them, May we raise them.”


Photo by Catherine Cluett Pactol


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