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Philadelphia Writer Earns Women's Journalism Award

Washington, DC – June 15, 2009 – The General Federation of Women’s Clubs has awarded the 14th Annual GFWC Jane Cunningham Croly Award for Excellence in Journalism Covering Issues of Concern to Women to writer Marielena Zuniga, a staff writer for Best for Women magazine, published by Soroptimist International of the Americas. Zuniga will accept the award and cash prize at the volunteer federation’s 118th Annual International Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the Celebration of Service awards ceremony.

Zuniga’s entry included three articles published in 2008: “Is There A Doctor in the House?” about the number of obstetricians leaving their practices and the role of rising malpractice insurance costs on this scarcity; “The Breastfeeding Battle,” about mothers’ ongoing struggle with breastfeeding and the professional work environment; and “Gender in the Media,” about persistent sexual stereotypes in women’s representations in the media. Zuniga is a writer and journalist of more than thirty years.  She has been a staff writer for newspapers and magazines and worked in public relations in corporate and nonprofit environments. For the last ten years, her writing has focused on spirituality and women’s issues and has appeared in national and international magazines.

“Marielena Zuniga’s articles point directly to three significant issues facing women today,” said GFWC International President Rose M. Ditto, Ph.D. “GFWC is thrilled to recognize and support a journalist with such a keen understanding of topics that matter to our members and all women.”  The award-winning articles are available on GFWC’s website at www.GFWC.org/CrolyAward, courtesy of Soroptimist International of the Americas.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs includes 4,000 clubs in all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. Club members annually volunteer more than five million hours on behalf of more than 100,000 projects, and donate more than $30 million to causes and organizations that support community improvement and women’s enrichment.

The Croly Award honors a journalist whose writing demonstrates a concern for the rights and the advancement of women in our society; an awareness of women’s sensitivity, strength, and courage; and an attempt to counteract existing sexism. The award is named in honor of Jane Cunningham Croly, a pioneering journalist who devoted her life to helping women improve their lives and expand their rights. Croly founded the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1890 to support women’s clubs throughout the nation and further their efforts at providing education, improved working conditions, health care, scholarships, and other reforms. She also founded the New York Women's Press Club in 1889.

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