World’s most powerful women of 2019 announced with 3 from Middle East

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been named the world’s most powerful woman for the ninth year running in a wide-ranging list intended to celebrate the 100 most influential females of this year. The list also honoured Three from the middle East namely Raja Easa Al Gurg, Rania Nashar, Ava DuVernay.

Forbes’ 2019 edition of its World’s Most Powerful Women, released Thursday, marked a return for the German leader, who has made 14 appearances in the list’s 16-year history.

Merkel was joined in the top spots by fellow prominent female political leaders.

Christine Lagarde moved up one place this year to second position after taking over a president of the European Central Bank. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative, Nancy Pelosi, took third place and Ursula Von Der Leyen, president of the European Commission, fourth. The top five was rounded out by General Motors CEO Mary Barra.

orbes’ executive vice president and president of ForbesWomen, Moira Forbes, said the list highlights the impressive strides women have made to upend traditional gender stereotypes over the past decade.

“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” she said.

“As we come to the close of the current decade, our 2019 listees remind us of the huge strides that have been made by women, and the great opportunity they have to define the decade ahead,” Forbes added.

Other list debuts were made by Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF (15th); Jessica Tan, co-CEO, CIO and COO of Ping An Group (22nd); Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister (34th); and singer/songwriter and entrepreneur Rihanna (61).

Overall, North America accounted for the greatest number of honorees at 50. It was followed by Asia Pacific (21), Europe (23), the Middle East (3), Latin America (2), and Africa (1).