Merkel, Gillard & Geun-hye: A New Brand of World Leader

Angela Merkel

Forbes has released its 2013 list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Scrolling through, I found the usual suspects, including Oprah (#13), Beyonce #16), Melinda Gates (#3), Hillary Clinton (#5) and Michelle Obama (#4). Topping the list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel (above).

It was Ms. Merkel, the only female at the 2006 G8 Summit, who received an unsolicited shoulder massage  from President George W. Bush and the video went viral. Married, but never a Mom, she caught my attention. I kind of like her style. Forbes explained that she and her powerful peeps are “actually shifting our very idea of clout and authority and, in the process, transforming the world in fresh and exhilarating ways.”

Also on Forbes‘ list is former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (#28). My hunch is she’s just as ballsy  J Gillardas Ms. Merkel, but with a whole bunch of quirky mixed in. A previous post revealed that Ms. Gillard is childless, unmarried, and co-habitating with her boyfriend in the official residence.  Oh. I almost forgot. She’s an atheist, too (and voted out of office in June 2013).

The petite woman standing up to North Korea in recent headlines is the first  Geun-hye Parkfemale President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye (#11). Never married, this NotMom may have the most dramatic backstory. She is the daughter of a former South Korean President and First Lady, both of whom were assassinated. She has said that she is “married ” to her nation, and they call her the “Iron Lady.” I have no problem with that.

Some pundits are calling this year’s Forbes list “politician-heavy.” From Brazil to Liberia, that’s a good thing. There’s too just many women running the world to ignore a single one.

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