New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been named by Forbes’ magazine as the 34th most powerful women in the world, in what is her debut appearance on the list. An alumnus of Delhi’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), she is the country’s first full-time female Finance Minister, as well as the first full-time female Defence Minister.
The late Indira Gandhi had held both ministries as an additional portfolio, in separate terms, while being the Prime Minister of India.
Releasing the list of the world’s 100 most powerful in 2019, ForbesExecutive Vice President, Moira Forbes said, “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.”
She further called their accomplishments ‘formidable,’ more so given that they were working in areas long dominated by men.
The Union Finance Minister, on the list, is ahead of the likes of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (38), Queen Elizabeth II (40), Ivanka Trump (42), singers Rihanna, Beyonce Knowles and Taylor Swift (61, 66 and 71 respectively), tennis star Serena Williams (81) etc.
The list was topped for the ninth year in a row by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was followed by Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB). Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and a key figure in the ongoing impeachment inquiry of US President Donald Trump was third.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, rounded out the top five.
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg, known for her ‘feud’ with President Trump, too, made her debut on the list, where she was placed at 100.