Gloria Steinem Weighs in on Hawaii’s Congressional Race

Gloria Steinem
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Gloria Steinem

Well-known feminist icon and author Gloria Steinem has made an endorsement in on Hawaii’s Congressional election.

Kathryn Xian, who is best known for efforts to help child trafficking victims and labor trafficking victims here in the islands through her group, the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, now has Steinem’s backing.


Steinem, the co-founder of Ms. magazine, co-founder of the Women’s Media Center, author of seven books, and a former columnist for New York magazine, said Xian has been a constant champion of women’s rights in Hawaii as the executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery and has helped dozens of women overcome the oppression of sex-trafficking.

Xian also heads Girl Fest Hawaii, an annual festival devoted to preventing gender-based violence and advancing women’s empowerment through the arts and education.

Steinem said as founder of Girl Fest Hawaii, Xian “has highlighted the power of education and art to fight violence of all kinds against women of all ages.”

“While Kathryn embraces the political goals necessary to further women’s interests, her candidacy also paves the road for future female leaders,” said Steinem. “We need leaders in Washington, like Kathryn, who will not only vote for social justice, but inspire others to speak about their own struggles, as well.”

Xian said she is humbled and honored by this endorsement: “I’ve spent my life working to provide opportunities to disadvantaged women and help victims of sexual exploitation, and see my efforts as building on the legacy of Steinem and her peers.”

The values of Xian’s campaign mirror Steinem’s commitment to women’s progress, Xian said.

“Decades after the women’s liberation movement began, women are still battling inequality from the boardroom to the bedroom,” said Xian. “We must continue to advance the status of women in our society by preventing gender-based violence, stopping sexual harassment, safeguarding reproductive rights, and ensuring that women’s pay equals that of their male counterparts in the workplace.”

Kathryn Xian

Xian, a Democrat, is the only candidate for the Congressional race who is not an elected politician. She also has advocated for gay marriage, rights of the homeless, student tuition decreases at the University of Hawaii, and a higher minimum wage.

Xian has received numerous awards for her dedication to stopping violence against woman and children and helping victims of human trafficking, including the National Education Association’s 2005 Ellison S. Onizuka Human and Civil Rights Award and 2012 Josephine Butler Award for Policy Change. Winner of Pacific Edge Magazine’s 2013 Nonprofit Impact Award, PASS, founded by Xian in 2009, has assisted over 100 human trafficking survivors in obtaining justice and sustainable futures.
“In 2010, Hawaii was ranked one of the twelve worst states in addressing human trafficking. By 2012, we helped increase our national standing to a Tier One state, the highest ranking Tier afforded under national rankings,” said Xian.

A number of other Democrats have entered the congressional race to replace Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who has opted to run for U.S. Senate.

Several of those candidates, including state Rep. Mark Takai, state Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and Honolulu City Council member Ikaika Anderson have received union endorsements.

Takai has also received endorsements from veterans groups, and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, a former Hawaii resident and former appointee of President Barack Obama.

No Republicans have entered the race.






  1. Media, ask Xian if she supports Jessica's Law and will help lead this into Hawaii's Court system with the most stringent prosecution against child molestors.
    If you hear crickets chirping, or that Deer in the Headlights response, cue the Democrats birds of a feather tune.

  2. WTH Guest….what has Gloria Steinem's looks to do with the article and endorsment….??? Read the article….become enlightened and Vote for Ms. Xian….

    • Elaine, you need t/b enlightened…Xian is clueless about state's economy. Think she'll agree with: remove a cap on how much counties can share in the state's hotel room taxes,.Mayors have long called for the cap to be removed so the counties can pay for services used by tourists while they're on the islands.
      What about establish dispensaries where patients can buy legal medicinal marijuana with a prescription?
      Decreasing personal income taxes by allowing an increase implemented during a severe budget crisis to sunset as scheduled in 2015.?
      Sorry Elaine, Xian needs t/b educated by Hawaii House Speaker Joseph Souki first.

  3. She's not running for state office, she's running for a Federal office. It doesn't matter what she would do or not do about Hawaii's local issues. The fact is she's a hard-core liberal, exactly what this country does NOT need more of in Congress.

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