In its annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Forbes Magazine included several feminists and friends of the women’s movement, demonstrating the power women can hold when they believe in equality. Women political leaders ranked high, with Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who are both feminists, in the top third of the list. Also among the top 100 are Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and formerly the Minister of Women’s Affairs and the deputy prime minister of Afghanistan, and Cathleen Black, the former publisher of Ms. magazine and the current president of Hearst Magazine.
“It is encouraging to see such a large number of self-identified feminists among Forbes’ list of most powerful women,” Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal said. “This shows that women who believe in equality have an advantage in becoming powerful. It will hopefully pave the way for more women to gain power, because feminists have a record of helping women up the ladder.”
Forbes’ list, which is based primarily on each woman’s visibility (indexed by press citations) and economic impact, is topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. By country, the US is best represented with 50 women ranking in the top 100. The United Kingdom and China tied for a distant second; each country has seven women on the list.