Kauai News

KCSW Announces Winners of 2021 Women’s History Essay Contest

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The Kaua‘i Committee on the Status of Women (KCSW) has awarded Julia Kailani Barzilai, Jeslieann Pavao, and Chloe Inouye as the winners of the 2021 Women’s History Essay Contest.

Barzilai, a sophomore at Island School, is the first-place winner of the contest. In her essay, she describes women as the backbone of society and highlights her mom and great-grandmother for their strength and perseverance.

“I wrote this essay as an opportunity to celebrate the women in my life as well as all women around the world,” Barzilai said. “I hope the essay contributes to the respect women receive every day.”


In celebration of Women’s History Month, the committee invited high school students to write a one-page essay about a woman who has inspired them. Winners were selected by members of the KCSW and received a cash prize.

“Julia’s essay spoke to the basic core of what the Status of Women are all about. Jeslieann honored the Princess’ legacy and Chloe reflected on women’s past and present battle for equality,” said Chair Regina Carvalho. “We hope you will be as moved and inspired as we were on these young women’s thought-provoking insight.”

Pavao, a senior attending Kamehameha Schools at Kapālama, placed second in the contest. In her entry, she writes a poem of great appreciation for Bernice Pauahi Bishop, honoring the life she lived, the impacts she has made, and the legacy she leaves behind.


“As a pua of Pauahi, I have explored and studied the admirable heart of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and adored her ability to serve our lāhui with dignity and pride,” Pavao said. “I will forever be grateful for the things my princess has provided me with. E ola ʻo Kalani, e Pauahi lani nui!”

Inouye, a freshman at Island School, placed third. Her essay reflects on the past and the fight for women’s rights that still lives on today. She highlights Abigail Adams, one of the first advocates of women’s rights, for her bravery and voice to stand up for women and how she has inspired her to be part of the change.

“My essay was written in honor of all the powerful women throughout history that have inspired us today. Thank you for the opportunity,” she said.


The three winning essays will be posted on the KCSW’s website. The Committee on the Status of Women is part of the County of Kaua‘i Boards and Commissions, and the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women, which develops and promotes education, interactive opportunities on issues relating to women and girls, prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls and encouraging health and wellness awareness.

For more information on the Kaua‘i Committee on the Status of Women, visit www.kauai.gov/KCCSW, or contact the Office of Boards and Commissions, Ellen Ching at [email protected] or Sandra Muragin at [email protected]

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