#ChooseToChallenge Women

For this year’s International Women’s Day, the campaign theme #ChooseToChallenge urges everyone, regardless of gender, to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. The hashtag aims to inspire people to celebrate women’s achievement while calling out issues to raise awareness.

“We go out there and we’re brave and fearless,” said Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach. “[We] are much more different than what people think we used to be.”

To celebrate Women’s Month this march, below are outstanding Filipino women who continue to #ChooseToChallenge gender bias and inequality.

ANNALISA BURGOS, TV Anchor and Reporter on KITV-4 Island News
With over 20 years of experience in the news and media industry, Burgos has been to different cities in the United States and Asia, including Manila, sharing stories about people making big moves in business, politics and lifestyle.

CRISTINA ARIAS, Vice President of Survivor Advocacy Services of the Honolulu Domestic Violence Action Center
Since 2003, Arias has been with the Domestic Violence Action Center where they advocate for victims and provide support as they navigate the systems towards freedom and self-sufficiency.

DR. EVA WASHBURN-REPOLLO, Faculty Senate President at Chaminade University
An Associate Professor of Communications at Chaminade University, Dr. Washburn-Repollo is also an author and director who is passionate about empowering a diverse learning environment through multilingualism in our multicultural society.

DR. MAREL R. VER, President Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii (PMAH)
A surgeon at Pali Momi Medical Center, Dr. Ver organized PMAH outreach programs such as food distributions, mask donations and blood drive to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

KHARA JABOLA-CAROLUS, Executive Director of the Hawai’i State Commission on the Status of Women
Jabola-Carolus leads Hawaii’s feminist government agency to advocate for women and girls through legislations, education, collaboration and program development.

KIMEE BALMILERO, Filipinx Performing Artist
Known for her roles in Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I. and Hi-5, Balmilero founded Improve Hawaii in 2012, a company dedicated to improv comedy, and produced the first Hawaii Comedy Festival in 2015.

LENI ACOSTA KNIGHT, Hawaii-based International Fine Artist
Knight is a full-time artist whose art has been featured in numerous international contemporary exhibitions and is now represented by Van Gogh Art Gallery in Madrid, Spain.

SHERYL R. YOSHIMURA, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist at Wahiawa Health
A board-certified Diabetes educator and Renal Nutrition specialist who provides health coaching, medical nutrition therapy and chronic disease self-management education, Yoshimura received the Outstanding Preceptor Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Diabetics Foundation.

CHEF ISABELLE TOLAND, Chef de Cuisine at Banyan Tree, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Kapalua

With extensive experiences in renowned restaurants in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Maui, Chef Toland shares her French and Filipino upbringing by creating classic Filipino and European fusion dishes with a local twist at The Banyan Tree Restaurant in Maui.

DR. AMY AGBAYANI, Civil Rights Activist
For the more than 40 years, Dr. Agbayani served as the founder and director of the Office of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity at University of Hawaii at Manoa. She advocates for policies that provides better support and voice to the immigrant community in Hawaii.

CHEF ABBY FERRER Executive Chef of Star Noodle, Maui
A New York native, Chef Ferrer has worked at renowned restaurants in Las Vegas, Boston, and Miami, and was even the Lead Chef Instructor at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Boston prior to moving to Maui. As the executive chef of Star Noodle, she crafts amazing noodle dishes with inspirations from Southeast Asian cuisine and her Filipino heritage.

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