Sitting pretty Merkel tops women's power list
'FORBES' magazine ranked German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the most powerful woman in the world for the second year in a row in an annual list dominated by politicians, businesswomen and media figures.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is placed second, followed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff but no Irish woman made the top 100.
The list names women involved in policymaking, entertainment, technology and non-profit organisations and then ranked them according to influence, the amount of money they control or earn, and media presence.
The average age of the 100 power brokers from 28 countries is 55. They have a combined 90 million Twitter followers.
"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.
The magazine noted Ms Merkel's resolve in preserving the European Union and her influence over the eurozone's ongoing debt crisis.
Also in the top five are Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jill Abramson, executive editor of the 'New York Times'.
Sonia Gandhi, the Italian president of India's largest political party, follows at six. US First Lady Michelle Obama, who topped the list in 2010, is placed seventh.
The list also features newcomers such as actress Jennifer Lopez and billionaire philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, who is the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, is eighth. The former French cabinet minister has been on the list since it began in 2004.