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Pick up your power
WelcomeWords: We invite you to celebrate the month of International Women's Day with these stories of strong, determined, caring women-stories where we find we are more alike than we are different.
Norma Smith Olson and Kathy Magnuson
by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson

"When I dare to be powerful-to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."-Audre Lorde

In Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Mongolia, Russia, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and other countries, March 8-International Women's Day-is a national holiday. It's marked by commemorating the actions taken to advance women's and human rights. In this March issue of the Minnesota Women's Press we celebrate women's power, strength and service on the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day.

We see women picking up their power around the world. In February, women took to the streets in Italy after enduring the arrogant bragging of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi about his relationship with a 17-year-old prostitute. Women gathered to protest in more than 230 Italian cities. In Rome they danced to Aretha Franklin's song "Respect," followed by 90 seconds of silence and then a collective scream. "Enough" was the message.

In our country and in our state, there appears to be a war declared on women through proposed legislation reducing access to health care and reproductive services, redefining rape, cutting aid for food and other necessities to low-income mothers and their children, cutting funding for HeadStart, discontinuing a successful pay equity program, cutting funding for senior services, meals and housing. (Two-thirds of the elderly poor in America are women.) In February, the same day the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, they voted on an amendment to provide $2 million for contraceptive implants in wild horses and burrows.

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We see women picking up their power in Italy, around the world, in our own country and here in Minnesota. In this issue we share stories about the leadership at AGILE (African Girls' Initiative for Leadership and Empowerment) and WISE (Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment), two organizations that support women and girl immigrants and refugees, easing their transitions from African, Asian and Latino countries to life in Minnesota. We share the stories of women's circles in Kenya and Minnesota joining together to support each other-grandmothers raising children who have been orphaned. Readers share their thoughts about what it is to be a "global woman"-the importance of learning about each others' cultures and learning to communicate. This issue has the story of Egyptian daughters who joined the movement to overthrow their government while their mother bought a year's supply of rice to keep her family safe-each doing what they are called to do.

Changing the World Through Women's Stories is the tagline on our cover each issue. We believe that sharing women's stories gives courage to stand in our power and make change in the worlds we live in. We invite you to celebrate the month of International Women's Day with these stories of strong, determined, caring women-stories that remind us that we all want many of the same things: a safe and fair world where we are welcomed for who we are.

Stories where we find we are more alike than we are different.

Coming Up:
In April it's all VOICE. Do you have an experience about losing, finding or using your voice?
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com.

Deadline: March 10, 2011
April Advertising Guides:
• Grrrls Go Green Guide

• Home Guide
• Spirituality Guide
Advertising deadline: March 10, 2011


In May we tell all! It's our annual What Women Want issue. We'll be sharing the resulrs of our annual survey.So, what do you thinnk women want?

We'll also be celebrating mothers in May.So, what's the best advice your mother gave you?

Tell us about it.

Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com.
Deadline: April 10, 2011
May advertising guides:
• Consignment & Thrift Guide

• Girlfriends' Guide to NE Minneapolis

Advertising deadline: April 10, 2011

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