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Sheikh Hasina Ranks 78 among Forbes "Top 100" Women
By Ataur Rahman
Bnagladesh Correspondent
Sheikh Hasina

Dhaka, Bnagladesh — Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is among the world's 100 most powerful women, according to the new Forbes list topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the fourth consecutive year.

Hasina came in at No 78, according to the business magazine's rankings released on Wednesday. Among other South Asian women in power, Sonia Gandhi, president of India's National Congress Party, stands in 13th place.

Along with Merkel and Hasina, other women heads of state on the list are Cristina Fernandez, president of Argentina, coming in at No 11; Michelle Bachelet, president of Chile at 22; Gloria Arroyo, president of Phillipines at 44; and Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine prime minister at 47.

US first lady Michelle Obama debuted at No 40, this year, coming in ahead of talk show host Oprah Winfrey at 41 and Britain's Queen Elizabeth at 42.

In assembling the list, Forbes said it looked for women who run countries, big companies or influential nonprofits. Their rankings are a combination of two scores: visibility—by press mentions—and the size of the organisation or country these women lead.

The magazine highlighted Merkel's role as leader of a huge economy and her likely re-election in September. She has been lauded for her efforts in overhauling the German health and tax systems and strict line on curbing expanding European Union budgets. She.

Merkel, who has topped the list four times since becoming the first female chancellor of Germany in 2005, was also among only four non-American women to make the top 10.

The 2009 list was dominated by businesswomen, mostly from the United States.

In second place came Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC), which insures US banks. Blair, debuting on the Forbes list last year, has gained increased prominence as the US recession grinds on. Third on the list was Indra Nooyi, chief executive at PepsiCo.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, came in at No. 36, dropping from No. 28 last year when her presidential bid made her the woman with the highest public profile on the list. Clinton's predecessor Condoleezza Rice fell off the list this year after leaving office in January.

Newcomers this year include Hasina, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay at No 63 and Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir at No 74.

The full list can be seen at

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Mr. Ataur Rahman serves as Bangladesh Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He earned his Master of Commerce degree from Dhaka University in 1985. Mr. Rahman has vast journalistic experience including his stints at "The Daily Janata" and "The Dainik Bangla."






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