The Office of Hawaiian Affairs will release a new report on the health status of Hawaiian wāhine this month, coinciding with Mother’s Day, National Women’s Health Week and Asian/Pacific American Heritage month.
Haumea: Transforming the Health of Native Hawaiian Women and Empowering Wāhine Well-Being examines issues that impact Hawaiian females from keiki to kūpuna: mental and emotional well-being, suicide, physical health, chronic diseases, maternal and child health, intimate partner violence, incarceration, economic wellness, poverty rates, underrepresented occupations, gender wage gaps and more. The report also recommends policies and programs aimed at elevating wāhine well-being.
OHA will share Haumea throughout the pae ‘āina and the report will be free to download at www.oha.org/wahinehealth after May 4. Each section of the report focuses on a different aspect of wāhine wellbeing – some highlights from our research are shared here. Below is an excerpt from the report, focusing on women in prison. Native Hawaiian women make up nearly 44 percent of the female prison population in Hawai‘i, and represent more than 62 percent of the population in “close” security prisons.
NH have the highest rates of infant mortality in HI – 2.3 times greater than Whites–with eight NH infant deaths per 1,000 live births versus 3.5 deaths for Whites.
A 10-year aggregate shows 45 percent of the extremely preterm births in Hawai‘i are born to NH mothers in low income communities.
NH women less than 20 years old make up 63 percent of extremely preterm births in Hawai‘i.
NH women less than 20 years old make up 76 percent of extremely preterm births in Hawai‘i in low-income communities.
There is a 37.5 percent point difference between NH females with BMI status of obese (58.2 percent) and non-Hawaiian females (20.7 percent) of the same age range of 45-54 years old.
17.4 percent of NH public middle school female students do not have breakfast any day of the week.
More than one-quarter (28.6 percent) of NH public high school female students have used electronic vapor products in the past 30 days.
Wāhine data indicates heavy drinking and binge drinking as alcohol behaviors that are more than double non-Hawaiian females.
In 2016, more than twice as many Native Hawaiian females had any type of cancer than Native Hawaiian males.
Among Native Hawaiian families, 39 percent are single-parent, compared to the statewide rate of 26 percent; 28 percent of Native Hawaiian families were single-mother and 11 percent were single-father.
Merely 11.3 percent of all businesses owned by women in Hawai‘i are owned by Native Hawaiian females.
Native Hawaiian women are paid 71 cents for every dollar men in Hawai‘i get paid and 82 cents on the dollar that Native Hawaiian men get paid.
Less than half of wāhine are represented in computer and mathematical positions (0.4 percent) compared to kāne (1.1 percent)both of whom are out represented by statewide females (1.2 percent).
Wāhine between 25-34 are the highest poverty group (16.6 percent) for women.
A single Native Hawaiian mother’s income is $46,002 per year. Her childcare costs for her infant are roughly 18 percent of her annual income.
Native Hawaiian females experience unwanted sex by an intimate partner 1.5 times more than their non-Hawaiian peers.
Native Hawaiian female youth experience being forced to do sexual things by their date and are forced to have sexual intercourse more than twice as often as non-Hawaiian males in Hawai‘i.
38 percent of Native Hawaiian female youth experience being controlled or emotionally hurt by their date.
Native Hawaiian females make up 43.7 percent of the incarcerated population in Hawai‘i.
The highest proportion of incarcerated women are in “close” security prisons (62.5 percent of female inmates).
In late September, as part of the effort to expand its “Meals & Mahalo” program statewide, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) delivered 150 meals to frontline healthcare workers at Hilo Medical Center as an act of aloha and appreciation.