China's Vice Premier Wu Yi (
The Forbes list of the world's 100 most powerful women was topped by Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser of US President George W. Bush, according to a Forbes press statement released here.
Top Singapore businesswoman Ho Ching (
Sonia Gandhi, the president of India's ruling Congress Party who wields immense influence behind the scenes after turning down the job of prime minister, came in third.
In fourth place was US First Lady Laura Bush, followed by Senator Hillary Clinton and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Another US Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was in seventh place, trailed by Megawati, Arroyo and Hewlett-Packard chair and chief executive Carly Fiorina.
Forbes said it came up with the list by devising a power scorecard.
"For each candidate, we came up with a numerical weight defined by her title and resume, the size of the economic sphere in which she wields power ... and the number of global media mentions," the magazine said.
Among the other Asia-Pacific women in the list are Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia (14), New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark (43), Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga (44) and Myanmar opposition leader Ang San Suu Kyi (45).
Singapore's Ho, who runs state investment arm Temasek Holdings, was No. 24, reflecting her influence as manager of the city-state's multibillion-dollar global business empire.
Peng Peiyun, president of the All-China Women's Federation, was No. 47 on the list, while Xie Qihua, chairwoman and president of the Shanghai Baosteel Group (
Forbes said the list had made "a refreshing break from the conventional wisdom about women and power" by breaking the notion that women can only gain power by working behind the scenes and forging consensus.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was 21st on the list, while the UK's first lady, Cherie Blair, was number 12.
Queen Rania of Jordan was in 13th place, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 22nd place and television host Barbara Walters was in 25th place.
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