Forbes magazine's top 10 most powerful women in the world

The top three on Forbes magazine's most powerful women in the world list; (from left) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and philanthropist Melinda Gates. -- PHOTOS: EPA, AFP, REUTERS
The top three on Forbes magazine's most powerful women in the world list; (from left) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and philanthropist Melinda Gates. -- PHOTOS: EPA, AFP, REUTERS

Forbes magazine on Wednesday named its list of the world's most powerful women, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel topping it for the fourth consecutive year. Here are the top 10:

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1. Angela Merkel, 59Chancellor, GermanyMerkel is the backbone of the 28-member European Union, with a GDP of $15.8 trillion.

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2. Janet Yellen, 67Chair, Federal Reserve, US The first woman to head the most influential central bank in the world. The Fed has a balance sheet of $4 trillion.

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3. Melinda Gates, 49Philanthropist, USGates has dominated philanthropy and global development to the tune of $3.4 billion in 2012 and more than $26 billion in grant commitments.

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4. Dilma Rousseff, 66President, BrazilConsidered one of the world's most powerful heads of state, with Brazil having the seventh-largest economy of nearly $2.4 trillion.

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5. Christine Lagarde, 58Managing director, International Monetary Fund, FranceShe is the first woman to run the 188-country financial organisation, spending the first three years of her term in crisis mood and most recently dealing with escalating tensions in Ukraine. Approved a $17 billion loan for the country in April.

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6. Hillary Clinton, 66Former secretary of state, USClinton's upcoming memoir, Hard Choices, chronicling her time as Secretary of State reportedly netted her a high-seven-figure advance.

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7. Mary Barra, 52CEO, General Motors, USThe 33-year company veteran took over the reins of GM in January.

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8. Michelle Obama, 50First Lady, USA Harvard graduate and former corporate attorney, she uses her platform as first lady to combat childhood obesity and champion healthier eating and lifestyles.

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9. Sheryl Sandberg, 44COO, Facebook, USAs COO of the $160 billion social media giant, Sandberg's net worth is just shy of a billion.

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10. Virginia RomettyCEO, IBM, USRometty gave up her annual bonus when the company saw revenue decline. Her leadership has seen her rise up the ranks from her initial position as a systems engineer in 1981.

Source: Forbes magazine