Women’s eNews is holding its sixth annual 21 Leaders for the 21st Century gala held at the Tavern on the Green in New York City’s Central Park — an opportunity to honor “21 people who are significantly helping to make this a better, safer, more equitable planet on which to be a woman,” writes editor Rita Henley Jensen.

Meet all the dynamic honorees here (clicking on each photo will take you to a story about that person’s activism and legacy).

In today’s story, Jensen goes on to explain the essential need for Women’s eNews:

Women’s eNews exists because other news media simply do not serve our interests in this way.

Example: A recent look at the Washington Post commentary page, the must-read by our nation’s policy makers, found that women were a mere 1 in 10 of contributors.

Example: A former Glamour editor, Ruth Davis Konigsberg, found that, on average, women write one article for every three by men in the Atlantic, Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

Example: The Project for Excellence in Journalism found in 2005 that more than three quarters of all news stories contain male sources, while only a third of stories contain even a single female source. The data were drawn from an examination of 16,800 news stories across 45 news outlets during 20 randomly selected days over nine months. The disparity held true across newspapers, cable, network news and the online world.

Example, and this is my favorite: Researchers have found that only 2.7 percent of sampled news stories focused on women on weekdays and 3 percent focused on women on Sunday.

This systematic exclusion of women as managers, sources, commentators and focus of the news is worldwide. The statistics swing a bit from nation to nation, yet the overall picture remains the same: We are not being heard, our leaders are ignored or mocked, and our issues are not being addressed.

And that’s where Women’s eNews comes in. As you can see, we run WeN headlines on the left side of this site. But take a moment to visit WeN today and browse through its many offerings (including terrific editorial cartoons by Ann Telnaes). Sign up for their free e-mail subscription.

It’s a much-needed global news services about and by women that will leave you feeling smarter and more inspired each day.

Christine

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