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Woman Power
by Amin George Forji
2006-10-03 10:51:54
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Forbes Magazine has released its 2006 list of the world’s most powerful women. The results put Germany's first female Chancellor Angela Merkel in the top position as the most powerful woman in the world. She takes over from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who came second, having dominated the classification during the last two years.

ovi_merkel01_400One interesting aspect to note is that a year ago, about this same time, Angela Merkel failed to even feature on Forbes' “Top 100”, despite dominating opinion polls as leader of the then leading opposition Conservative Christian Union. Three other female heads of state who made the list for the first time are South Korean Prime Minister Han Myung-sook at 68th, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at 51 and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet occupying the 17th place.

The so-called Chinese Iron Lady, Wu Yi, who is Vice-Premier for China, came in third position having dropped one place from the last year’s classification. The fourth to tenth positions are all women from the world of business, with the fourth position going to Indian-born Indra Nooyi, who is PepsiCo's chief executive-designate, closely followed by Xerox Corp.'s Anne Mulcahy, who came in fifth.

Some of the other prominent figures on the list include famous talk-show host Oprah Winfrey in 14th, Jordan's Queen Rania is 81st, Melinda Gates is 16th, US First Lady Laura Bush is 43rd, Hillary Clinton is 18th, and Italian-born Sonia Gandhi of the Indian Congress Party is in the 13th position. Queen Elizabeth II rose 29 places from last year’s 75th position to number 46.

One factor that surely contributed to Merkel winning the top place was her foreign policy that is generally seen as brilliant. She was the backbone behind the compromise in the European Union’s 2007-2013 budget that ended six months of deadlock in negotiations, plus she is further praised for working hard to repair relations with the US administration, which were damaged under her predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder.

Her administration remains a key player in efforts aimed at encouraging Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment ambitions and the fact that Merkel is the only female head of state in a leading industrial state could not be undermined. During the last G8 summit, she was also the only female leader.

The main factors that Forbes Magazine takes into account while compiling its survey are: visibility in the media, measured by press citations, economic impact and size of the economic sphere under the control of the leader, as well as overall economic performance.

Top 25 of the Forbes' Most Powerful Women:

1 Angela Merkel, Chancellor (Germany)

2 Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State (US)

3 Wu Yi, Vice Premier (China)

4 Indra Nooyi, Chief Executive-Designate, PepsiCo (US)

5 Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and Chief Executive, Xerox (US)

6 Sallie Krawcheck, Chief Financial Officer, Citigroup (US)

7 Patricia Woertz, Chief Executive, Archer Daniels Midland (US)

8 Anne Lauvergeon, Chairman, Areva (France)

9 Brenda Barnes, Chairman and Chief Executive, Sara Lee (US)

10 Zoe Cruz, Co-President, Morgan Stanley (US)

11 Irene Rosenfeld, Chief Executive, Kraft Foods (US)

12 Melinda Gates, Co-Founder, Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (US)

13 Sonia Gandhi, President, National Congress Party (India)

14 Oprah Winfrey, Chairman, Harpo (US)

15 Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks (US)

16 Mary Sammons, Chief Executive, President, Rite Aid (US)

17 Michelle Bachelet, President (Chile)

18 Hillary Rodham, Clinton Senator, New York (US)

19 Ann Livermore, Executive Vice President, Hewlett-Packard (US)

20 Helen Clark, Prime Minister (New Zealand)

21 Safra Catz, President and Chief Financial Officer, Oracle (US)

22 Margaret Whitman, Chief Executive, President, eBay (US)

23 Julie Gerberding, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US)

24 Susan Arnold, Vice Chairman, Beauty & Health, Procter & Gamble (US)

25 Patricia Russo, Chairman and Chief Executive, Lucent Technologies (US)

View the complete list here

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Asa2006-10-03 00:31:26
Good ole Tarja, wedged in at #44 between Laura Bush and Gloria Arroyo, President of the Philippines.

I wonder why Maggie didn't make the list...

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