Rita Henley Jensen

(WOMENSENEWS)–Tonight, Women’s eNews will be honoring our incredible 21 Leaders for the 21st Century . Please read all about them on our Web site.

We’ve gone all out. Holding the dinner at one of those truly over-the-top hotels across from Central Park, the Jumeirah Essex House, bought tambourines for everyone to pound with joy and set the tables for more than 300 guests.

We figured we needed an extraordinarily joyous occasion after the financial tsunami we have all endured.

As a small nonprofit, Women’s eNews was living close to the edge when the storm hit, yet we have managed to hang on, with lots of help from dedicated staff working on their vacations and freelancers pitching us freebies.


Women’s eNews experienced dramatic cuts in foundation support, a loss of several major donors who saw their resources shrink to less than half, and enjoyed just a small uptick in donations from readers.

Like many organizations, large and small, Women’s eNews responded by cutting its costs–and personnel–during the last year. But we did something else, something truly extraordinary, I believe. We invested in our future. In fact, we believe this is our breakthrough moment. See more about that below.

Women around the world experience discrimination, whether they are living in the most participatory democracies or under the harshest regimes.

Story Telling Spurs Change

We at Women’s eNews, down to our core, appreciate the work being done worldwide–as demonstrated by our 21 Leaders–to improve women’s wellbeing. We believe that news media alone has the capacity to rapidly accelerate these processes through its classic role of story teller.

Women’s eNews alerts our allies and potential change agents and exposes wrong-doing.

Now, after a decade of delivering the news, Women’s eNews is a critical part of the process of change in our role of educating the public, disassembling stereotypes and encouraging civic engagement.

Three examples:

No. 1: We reported on the sexual violence in the Congo and the female Congolese journalists covering it. Now senate hearings are being scheduled featuring a radio reporter at the center of our story.

Panel Decries Neglect of Sexual Violence in Congo

No. 2: In a truly extraordinary partnership, our series on maternal health is being carried as a special Mother’s Day supplement by African American community newspapers across the country.

Black Maternal Health: A Legacy and a Future

No. 3: A surviving sister and aunt of a domestic violence murder of a mother and three children read our piece on a Supreme Court ruling on weapon ownership by abusers and took action. She can’t be here tonight because the law that might have saved four lives is being signed by the Maryland governor today.

High Court Hears Gun Rights for Batterers Case

Building Capacity, Role and Influence


  • WeNews is redesigning our Web site to take advantage of the newest trends in Internet communication. There will be the same outstanding content, many new interactive features and a brilliant new look.

    Women's eNews new look


  • WeNews is also undergoing a strategic planning process led by one of the most prestigious consulting firms in the nonprofit sector with the mission to enhance the sustainability of Women’s eNews through the creation of new revenue streams.


  • We moved on March 1–Women’s History Month–into a permanent welcoming space so we can provide a physical hub for ideas and information that supports our award-wining virtual presence. We have already hosted a press conference for a coalition of 20 women’s organization, a panel discussion on the role of news media covering rape in the Congo. More are in the works.

We may have made it through the worst but we need you now.

Please visit our Web site and push the "donate now" button on the home page and give whatever you feel you can afford. Every dollar will help. We need you to give us a leg up as we prepare to take this leap into the future. Even with all we got going for us, we simply can’t do it without you.

Rita Henley Jensen is founder and editor in chief of Women’s eNews.