Who Are The Most Influential Women In The World?

Here we have the ten women who, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency, have the most influence on the world’s affairs of today. They are from different parts of the world, so let’s see what they are influential about.

1. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

Angela Merkel (Angela Dorothea Kasner) grew up in a rural area of Berlin and studied physics. After earning a doctorate, she worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences. Merkel entered politics after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and soon became the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union party. In 2005 Merkel became Germany’s first female chancellor and one of the leading figures of the European Union.
In October 2013 Merkel accused the U.S. National Security Agency of tapping her cell phone. At a summit of European leaders, she said that “Spying among friends is never acceptable” and later it was revealed that the NSA may have been spying on Merkel since 2002.

2. Theresa May, The Prime Minister of Britain

Theresa May became Britain’s second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher and the first one to lead the country out of the European Union after June 2016 (Brexit). May is a member of the Conservative Party who voted to stay in the EU. She was born in Sussex where her father was a vicar for the Church of England thus she became a very religious person. She studied geography and got her BA degree. It was during this time that she met her husband Phillip May and the two married in 1980. They have spoken publicly about their inability to have children due to May’s problems with Type 1 Diabetes.

3. Hillary Clinton, the Former USA State Secretary

Hillary Clinton was born in Chicago, Illinois. She got her law degree from Yale University and married another law school graduate Bill Clinton. From 1993 to 2001, she served as the USA first lady, and then as a USA senator from 2001 to 2009.  During Obama’s presidential time, she served as the secretary of the United States (2009-2013). In 2016, Clinton became the first female presidential nominee of a major political party in the history of the USA. While promoting women’s rights she once said:

We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.

4. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar State Counselor

Today, Aung San Suu Kyi is the State Counsellor of Myanmar who won the Nobel Prize for Peace back in 1991. She was born in Yangon, Myanmar, but lived many years outside this country due to her studying. When she returned home she spoke against the rule of the dictator U Ne Win. Thus she was the one who initiated a nonviolent movement for democracy and human rights.
She was under the house arrest because of this activism and spent 15 of the next 21 years in custody (was temporarily released just to have a hysterectomy in September 2003). Finally, she was released from house arrest in November 2010. Afterward, she held a seat in parliament for the National League for Democracy party until 2015. In 2016 Aung San Suu Kyi became the State Counsellor, a person who is above the presidency and can direct the country’s affairs.

5. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, The President of Liberia

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is Liberian President and also the first woman president in Africa.

6. Michelle Bachelet, The President of Chile

Michelle Bachelet (Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria) is the president of Chile for the second time (first time was from 2006 to 2010). She is the first female president of Chile. Since her father was a general in Chile’s army who opposed the military coup that brought Augusto Pinochet to power, her whole family was arrested and tortured. Somehow, she managed to reach East Germany, where she became active in socialist politics. Later on, when returned to Chile, Michelle finished her medical studies and after Pinochet was ousted from power, she became active in politics, most precisely in the medical and military fields. Bachelet also studied military affairs.

7. Christine Lagarde, The Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Christine Lagarde (Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde) was born in Paris and holds a Master’s degree in the Political Science. She became part of the French government in 2005 as Minister for Foreign Trade and afterward as Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries. In 2007 she became the first woman to hold the post of Finance and Economy Minister of a G-7 country. In 2008, she also chaired the ECOFIN Council (council of Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Union). Christine Lagarde is the eleventh Managing Director of the IMF, and the first woman to hold that position.

8. Janet Yellen, The Head of The USA Federal Reserve

Janet Yellen was born in Brooklyn, New York. She has Ph.D. from Yale University. Here we have her working places since graduation:

  •  The Harvard University as a teacher,
  •  The Federal Reserve from 1977 to 1978,
  • The University of California as a teacher
  • The White House Council of Economic Advisers, from 1997 to 1999
  • In 2004 she became president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco,
  • In 2010 she was selected to serve as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
  • In October she became the board’s chairman of the Federal Reserve

 

9. Irina Bokova, The Head of The UN Cultural Organization UNESCO

Irina Bokova was born in Bulgaria. She is the general director of UNESCO. She is an active Bulgarian politician who served two terms as a member of the National parliament,  and also as Bulgaria’s ambassador to France and to Monaco. In 2009, Irina became the tenth general director of UNESCO. She is both the first female and the first Southeastern European to head this agency.

10. Margaret Chan, The General Director of The World Health Organization (WHO)

Margaret Chan was born in China. She got her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. In 1978 she became part of the Hong Kong Department of Health. Afterward, Margaret was appointed Director of Health of Hong Kong. After many different positions in the World Health Organization, she was finally elected to the position of the general director in 2007. She is now in that position for the second time and will be in charge of the WHO until June 2017.

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