Forbes magazine named German Chancellor Angela Merkel the most powerful woman worldwide for the ninth year in a row. US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton came second.
The annual list, compiled by the US business magazine Forbes, contains the world's 100 most powerful women. It includes leaders in eight categories - technology, politics, business, finance, media, entertainment, philanthropy and billionaires.
The magazine cited her actions and influence related to the German economy, eurozone stability and the imposing of sanctions on Russia during the current conflict with Ukraine as reasons for putting her in the top spot.
If all goes according to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats' plans, Merkel could be dethroned in election-year 2016
US presidential candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is snapping at her heels in second place, followed by Melinda Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with her billionaire philanthropist husband, US Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
The top ranking billionaire this year is US media whizz Oprah Winfrey at number 12 with a personal net worth of $3 billion (2.77 billion euros).
Forbes has ranked the German chancellor on the list 10 times in the past 12 years, nine of them as most powerful woman. The German chancellor was first elected in 2005 and won her third term in 2013.
Geographically speaking, the United States dominates the list. Fifty-nine people on the list are American nationals.
ng/msh (dpa, AFP)