German Chancellor Angela Merkel has overtaken US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the world's most powerful woman, according to a Forbes Magazine list published Thursday.
Angie has surpassed Condi, says Forbes
This time last year, Germany's first female chancellor was riding high in opinion polls as leader of the then-opposition conservative Christian Union but did not even feature in the ranks of Forbes's top 100 most powerful women.
And besides Chinese Vice President Wu Yi, who slid one place this year to number three, the rest of the top 10 are business executives, topped by the chief executive-designate of PepsiCo, Indian-born and educated Indra Nooyi.
The magazine's third annual list sees talk-show host Oprah Winfrey dropping to 14th place and New York Senator Hillary Clinton rising from 26 to 18 as her expected campaign for the US presidency in 2008 gathers pace.
Forbes puts India's Sonia Gandhi at 13
The Italian-born head of India's Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, came in at number 13, while Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, jumped to 16 in a year in which the organization doubled in size.
More high-level politicians
Merkel aside, the list includes three other women who emerged within the past year to become the first females to hold such high political office in their countries: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet (17), Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (51) and South Korean Prime Minister Han Myung-sook (68).
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Among women working in the entertainment industry, Disney co-chairman Anne Sweeney came in at 15 ahead of MTV's chief executive Judy McGrath (52), Amy Pascal, the chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment (60), and CBS Paramount TV's president Nancy Tellem (75). Katie Couric, a CBS television network anchor, is the highest placed journalist at 54, ahead of globe-trotting CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour (79).
Other notables include US First Lady Laura Bush (43), Queen Elizabeth II (46), Myanmar's opposition leader democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (47), Playboy chairwoman Christie Hefner (80) and Jordan's Queen Rania (81).