In Australia, It’s Rinehart Who is The Most Powerful Woman, Not Gillard, Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women

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Being a country's topmost political leader does not necessarily equate to being most powerful. In Australia, Julia Gillard may be the Prime Minister, but is it Gina Rinehart who is the most powerful woman of Australia, according to Forbes magazine's annual list of 100 most powerful women around the world.

From number 35 in 2012, Ms Rinehart zoomed to clinch the number 16 spot this year, leaving behind Ms Gillard at number 28. After all, Ms Rinehart, being the fifth-richest woman in the world, is naturally Australia's richest person, with a fortune of $US17 billion.

Forbes accounts Ms Gillard's low-ranking popularity and reach, compared to Ms Rinehard, to this year's state of politics in Australia.

"It's an election year for Australia's first female Prime Minister - and it doesn't look pretty," Forbes wrote. "Gillard's approval ratings are at 37 per cent as she continues to blast her opponent Tony Abbott as a misogynist."

Westpac CEO Gail Kelly, the only other Australian to have made the list, dropped two spots from number 64 last year to number 62.

Overall, the Forbes magazine's annual list of 100 most powerful women around the world was led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a feat she continues to hold for the third consecutive year.

"Chancellor Merkel has made the list eight times out of the past ten years - seven times as No. 1."

Following her at second was Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff.

Completing the top 10 were Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; US First Lady Michelle Obama; former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton; Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg; IMF Managing DirectorChristine Lagarde; Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano; President of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi; and, Pepsi Company CEOIndra Nooyi.

Interestingly, not only women engaged in politics, business, technology and philanthropy were cited in the list.

Even women from media and entertainment were included and cited for their contributions, such as Oprah Winfrey (13), Angelina Jolie (37) and even Beyonce (17).

"From Singapore to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom to the United States and beyond, the 100 influential women on our list are making an indelible and lasting impact on the world we live in."

High-profile businesswomen on the list include Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman (15), and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer (32).

View the complete list here: http://www.forbes.com/power-women/#page:1_sort:0_direction:asc_search:

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