Clinton is 36th most powerful woman in the world

Hillary Clinton, July 27, 2009 | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images Forbes magazine has ranked Secretary Clinton as the 36th most powerful woman in the world. Forbes states that the rankings are based on “a combination of two scores: visibility — by press mentions — and the size of the organization or country these women lead.” If Clinton ...

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581817_090824_Clinton5252.jpg

Forbes magazine has ranked Secretary Clinton as the 36th most powerful woman in the world.


Hillary Clinton, July 27, 2009 | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, July 27, 2009 | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Forbes magazine has ranked Secretary Clinton as the 36th most powerful woman in the world.

Forbes states that the rankings are based on “a combination of two scores: visibility — by press mentions — and the size of the organization or country these women lead.” If Clinton had received more press coverage, then she would likely have been ranked even higher.

The rankings don’t seem to incorporate how much global influence these women have — which would be a strong indicator of how “powerful” they really are. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ranked No. 35, but how much global influence does she have, given that this is a list of the most powerful women in the world?

Further, check out how Clinton’s rankings have varied through the years:

2008: No. 28

2007: No. 25

2006: No. 18

2005: No. 26

2004: No. 5

Could Clinton, as U.S. secretary of state, traveling the world as the United States’ top diplomat, really be so much less relatively powerful this year as she was in 2004, when the then-senator was No. 5 in the world?

Understandably, measuring global influence would be subjective and tricky. At the end of the day, every ranking is going to have its methodological weaknesses. (And that goes for FP rankings, too, such as the recent Failed States Index, which received a critique in the July/August issue.)

Women in government who were in the top 50 this year:

1. Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany

2. Sheila Bair, chairman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Co.

11. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, president of Argentina

13. Sonia Gandhi, president of the Indian National Congress party

17. Christine Lagarde, France’s minister of economy, finance, and employment

22. Michelle Bachelet, president of Chile

35. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

36. Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. secretary of state

40. Michelle Obama, first lady of the United States (technically not a government position)

44. Gloria Arroyo, president of the Philippines

47. Yulia Tymoshenko, prime minister of Ukraine

48. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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