German Chancellor Angela Merkel, often labeled the 'Iron Lady' of Europe, has once again taken the top spot on Forbes magazine's 9th annual ranking of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women released Wednesday.
This marks the second consecutive year that Merkel has topped the Forbes list, which is determined by wealth, media presence and overall impact on the international stage. The list, like the earlier ones, is dominated by politicians, businesswomen and media figures.
Forbes said Merkel has been a key in the ongoing attempts to resolve the "eurozone economic drama that continues to threaten global markets." The magazine noted her determination when she "vowed to do everything in her power" to preserve the 17-member singe currency bloc.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the second spot in this year's Forbes list, who according to the magazine "has had a formidable past 12 months" as America's top diplomat due to her exposure to complex issues issues such as WikiLeaks, the Syrian conflict and North Korea.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was third in the 2012 list, followed by Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times.
India's Congress party president Sonia Gandhi is sixth in the list, ahead of US First Lady Michelle Obama. Another US political figure, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was ninth on the list.
Among the sixteen women who made it onto the list for the first time are singer Jennifer Lopez, former US Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Meg Whitman of HP, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo and Laurene Powell-- the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Pop singer Lady Gaga, ranked fourteenth, is the youngest in the list at 26 years. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, aged 86, is at the 26th spot and is the oldest woman in this year's list. The women featured in the list come from 28 countries with an average age of 55. The list includes 25 CEOs overseeing $984 billion in revenues.
"This year's Power Women exert influence in very different ways and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community," said Moira Forbes, president and publisher of Forbes Woman.
"Whether leading multi-billion-dollar companies, governing countries, shaping the cultural fabric of our lives, or spearheading humanitarian initiatives, collectively these women are changing the planet in profoundly powerful and dynamic ways," she added.
by RTT Staff Writer
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