Women's eNews

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Women's eNews is a nonprofit online news service based in New York City. It publishes international news articles specializing in coverage of women's lives.[1]


In 1996, the Barbara Lee Family Foundation funded a discussion about women's media, hosted by a spinoff of National Organization for Women: NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 1999, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund underwrote Women's eNews, created to be an online news service for all women, and to act as a news wire for commercial media. The NOW Legal Defense fund put journalist Rita Henley Jensen in the position of editor in chief. NOW Legal Defense Fund's president of the time, Kathryn Rodgers said of the launch:

Looking out at the media's coverage of women, we saw a tremendous void in women's voices, in women as opinion shapers, and in the coverage of all the things that women do in society. So we decided to show the media what they were missing. Not to go on a blame campaign, but to do the ground work, actually do the reporting, and go back to these media outlets and say, 'Here's what we're talking about when we say you're not covering women's issues'.[2]

Two years later on January 1, 2002, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund released Women's eNews to become an independent organization.[3]

Women's eNews joined the Fund for the City for New York's Incubator/Partner Project Program in 2002.

Women's eNews launched its Arabic language site, Arabic Women's eNews, on April 28, 2003 in response to the theme of women's empowerment in the United Nations Development Program's first Arab Human Development Report. Arabic Women's eNews translates English-language content into Arabic and also creates new content in Arabic.[4]

In 2008 Women's eNews left the Incubator/Partner Project Program and became an independent organization. Rita Henley Jensen remains editor-in-chief of Women's eNews.


Rita Henley Jensen has more than 30 years of experience in journalism. She earned a degree from Ohio State University, and another in 1976–1977 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has received many awards for her journalistic practice including the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni award,[5] the Hunter College Presidential Grant for Innovative Uses of Technology in Teaching, and the Lloyd P. Burns Public Service prize.[6]

She is a former senior writer for The National Law Journal and a columnist for The New York Times Syndicate.

Jensen is on the honorary advisory board for the Women's Media Center, an organization which works to increase women's representation and gender diversity in the media.[7]


Women's eNews receives funding from individual donors on their website, and from humanitarian foundations. Notable grants include one of $100,000 received in 2010 from the Ford Foundation earmarked for the production of a 12-part series on women's poverty in America: "Scenes from the Women's Economy".[8] Beginning in July 2009, a 20-month grant totaling $400,000 came from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for the study of high mortality rates related to childbirth in African-American communities.[9][10]


Women's eNews and its writers have received over 35 awards since the organization's launch in 2000, including "Best Internet Site" in 2005 from the National Federation of Press Women, and the "Exceptional Merit in Media Award" in 2010 from the National Women's Political Caucus.[11]

Jensen has won many awards for her work at the helm of the news service including the National Association for Female Executives' Woman of Excellence award in 2010.[12] She has also been honored as one of the most Exceptional Women in Publishing, an annual award first given to Gloria Steinem.


  1. ^ "Covering Women's Issues, Changing Women's Lives". Women's eNews. 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ Lasica, J.D. (April 2, 2002). "A News Service with an Agenda: Nonprofit launches journalism operation to cover women's issues". Online Journalism Review. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ "What We Do". Women's eNews. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  4. ^ "The Background". Women's eNews. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Past Alumni Awards Winners". Alumni and Friends. The Journalism School, Columbia University. Retrieved November 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Staff". Women's eNews. 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Rita Henley Jensen". Women's Media Center. 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ http://www.fordfoundation.org/grants/grantdetails?grantid=77664
  9. ^ "Grantee name: Women's eNews, Inc.". Healthy Births in the African American Community. W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Women's eNews gets $400,000 grant". Philanthropy Journal. Institute for Nonprofits at North Carolina State University. July 31, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Awards". Women's eNews. Section "2010". Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  12. ^ Gatsiounis, Wendy. "Woman of Excellence 2010: Rita Henley Jensen". NAFE Features. National Association for Female Executives. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 

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