4 Jul 2013

Hawaii strengthens laws to protect rights of women and children

7:15 pm on 4 July 2013

The Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women says the recent strengthening of laws to protect the rights of women and children, shows law-makers are listening to what the community wants.

The governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, enacted a number of bills into law this week.

They range from protecting children from parents who have been convicted of a sexual assault, to requiring certain employers to offer reasonable time and privacy for mothers to pump breast milk.

The executive director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, Cathy Betts, says the community had a lot to do with changing these laws.

"I think it sends a message that when bills are really originated from community support and born in the community, that we can make really good things happen. All the bills, when I look at them, they really came into law because people cared about them and different individuals in the community advocated for them to pass."

Cathy Betts says some of these laws seemed like no-brainers, and the community is happy and relieved to have them passed.