Forbes magazine’s 2011 ranking has Angela Merkel as the most powerful woman, and President Dilma Rousseff in third place
1. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany (2005-2021)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, 57, is the most powerful woman in the world according to Forbes magazine’s ranking. The politician leads the European Union’s largest economy and is in charge of political and economic decisions in the euro zone, together with French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Lately Merkel has used all her influence and political authority to try to stabilize the fiscal crisis that has hit one nation after another in Europe. Despite her credibility in front of other politicians, in Germany the chancellor is facing a drop in popularity and political pressure from the opposition. The Forbes ranking lists the 101 most powerful women in the world without separating them by area of activity. Therefore, below you can see the ranking considering only the most powerful in politics, but also in the general ranking, which includes businesswomen and celebrities.
2. Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State (2009-2013)
The second most powerful politician in the world also ranks second overall among the most powerful women. She is Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State. In her second year in office, she continues to make an impression both at home and abroad. She has represented the interests of the United States in strategic regions such as the Eurozone and Latin America. In addition, she has worked hard to bring issues such as women’s rights, education, and development to the discussion agenda in the United States.
3. Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil (2011-2016)
4. Sonia Gandhi, president of the Indian Congress Party (2019-Incumbent)
Sonia Gandhi, 64, is a unanimity in India. In 2010, she was elected president of the country’s Congress Party for the fourth time in a row. Sonia is the fourth most powerful politician in the world, according to Forbes magazine. Her connection to India (Sonia is Italian) began in 1968, when she married Rajiv Gandhi, heir to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty. For almost 30 years she was just a politician’s wife, but the picture changed in 1998 when her husband was assassinated. Since then she has become increasingly involved in the Indian political scene. In 2004 and 2009 her party won the elections and she was nominated to be Prime Minister of India, but she declined.
5. Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States (2009-2017)
The fourth woman on the list is not exactly a politician, but she has a strong influence in the field. Michelle Obama, wife of U.S. Ex. President Barack Obama, has a higher approval rating among the citizens of the country than her husband. The first lady of the United States, besides accompanying the president, is involved in her own missions. The most important is the crusade against childhood obesity in the country. The international press often highlights Michelle Obama also for her elegance and good taste in dress.
6. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (2011-2019)
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the fifth most powerful woman in global politics. Christine Lagarde, a 55-year-old Frenchwoman, took over from Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was removed after being involved in a sexual assault case. A lawyer, Lagarde has previously held leading positions at a major law firm. She was also France’s finance minister. People close to Lagarde say that she has a “tough guy” profile, and has stated several times that the problem in the financial markets is too much testosterone in charge. At the head of the IMF, she is, together with her colleague Angela Merkel, the protagonist of some of the most important moments in the soap opera of the rescue of countries threatened by the financial crisis in Europe.
7. Kathleen Sebelius, US Secretary of Health (2009-2014)
Kathleen Sebelius, 63, deals with a delicate area in the United States: she is the country’s Health Secretary. Her primary mission is to lead the expansion of health insurance coverage in the country, which is to be extended to 32 million Americans. Health care is among the biggest causes of dissatisfaction of the country’s population with the Obama administration. Kathleen is the seventh most powerful politician in the world, according to Forbes.
8. Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Homeland Security (2009-2013)
The eighth most powerful politician in the world according to Forbes magazine is Janet Napolitano. At the age of 53, she is the Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States. On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the twin towers, the latest events in Norway serve as a wake-up call for Janet. According to Forbes, she said after the Oslo bombing that events like this remind her that “extremist threats continue to exist in our world and we all need to work together to defeat them wherever they arise.”
9. Cristina Kirchner, President from Argentina (2007-2015)
At the age of 58, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner is the ninth most powerful politician in the world. In June she announced her intention to run for a new term at the head of the country. Two months later came the proof of her popularity. In the second week of August, Cristina won the country’s primary elections with almost half of the votes, 40 percentage points ahead of the runner-up. Under her administration, Argentina’s economy grew and poverty rates decreased. However, inflation remains high and Cristina faces opposition from business and rural leadership groups. These are her main obstacles on the road to reelection.
10. Margaret Hamburg, head of the FDA, USA (2009-2015)
Margaret Hamburg, 56, is the head of the FDA, the agency that oversees food and drugs in the United States. A Harvard-educated physician, she is the 10th most powerful woman in global politics, according to Forbes. Among her biggest challenges are the project to inspect imported foods and the campaign against smoking. In a controversial decision, Margaret approved the printing of strong images that will be printed on cigarette packs starting in 2012. Among them, the picture of a rotting corpse, to represent the evils of smoking to health.