Forbes magazine ranked German Chancellor 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.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary 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 organizations, among other fields. They were ranked according to influence, the amount of money they control or earn, and media presence.
The magazine noted Merkel’s resolve in preserving the European Union and her influence over the euro zone’s ongoing 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.
The average age of the 100 power brokers from 28 countries was 55. They 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 Corp co-founder Bill Gates, and Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times.
Sonia Gandhi, president of the Indian National Congress, followed at No. 6. U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, who had topped the list in 2010, was No. 7.
Republican U.S. Representative of Minnesota and former White House hopeful Michele Bachmann was among 21 women who fell off the list this year.
The full list is at www.forbes.com/power-women.