Angela Merkel tops Forbes list of powerful women
Forbes magazine ranked German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel the most powerful woman in the world for the second year in a row in the annual list dominated by politicians, businesswomen and media figures.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton placed second, followed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, making the top three spots unchanged from last year.
The list named women involved in policymaking, entertainment, technology and nonprofit organisations, among other fields. They were ranked according to influence, the amount of money they control or earn, and media presence.
"These 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 ForbesWoman.
The magazine noted Merkel's resolve in preserving the European Union and her influence over the euro zone's continuing debt crisis.
Clinton was applauded for her handling of crises such as the release of a trove of diplomatic cables by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
Forbes cited Rousseff for her leadership of the world's eighth-largest economy and approval ratings within her country.
The 100 power brokers had a combined 90 million Twitter followers, Forbes said.
Also in the top five were Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times.
Sonia Gandhi, president of the Indian National party, followed at No6. US First Lady Michelle Obama, who had topped the list in 2010, was No7.
The list featured newcomers such as actress and performer Jennifer Lopez and billionaire philanthropist and widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was No8.