Let's Hear it for the…Girls!

Celebrate all things female this weekend at the 6th annual Girl Fest. The festival’s mission is to prevent violence against women and girls—while promoting equality—through education, art and entertainment. This year’s theme is self-defense.

Photos courtesy of Girl Fest Hawaii

Today and tomorrow are the final two days of this year’s festival, so if you haven’t checked it out already you still have a chance. Tonight is the film premiere of Call and Response at the UHM Art Auditorium at 6:30 p.m., a documentary on human trafficking. Afterward, you can attend the “Emancipation Celebration,” at Bonsai in Restaurant Row at 9 p.m. The party is a benefit for the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery.

The festival closes on Saturday with workshops at Ing Direct Café (on Kalakaua Ave.), such as the Men’s Leadership Roundtable, teen dating and domestic violence and a ’zine making workshop.

Girl Fest is a creative way to get the community engaged and educated about serious issues that are often overlooked. It shines light onto unpleasant topics such as domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking and allows people to get involved while learning in an interesting way. And it’s just not for women, says Kathryn Xian, the “non-executive” director of Girl Fest Hawai‘i. Men are just as an important part of the solution.

While attending UH, I went to the Girl Fest presentations the nonprofit held each year and it’s inspiring to see women and men advocate for change, and then to go and do something about it.