She's in good company. Melinda Gates has claimed the #4 spot on
Forbes' list of the top 100 most powerful women in the world. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is #1, followed by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.
It's refreshing to see a list of 100 powerful women, or as Forbes puts it (and I like it!),
"The Women Who Run the World," with Melinda among the top five. Forbes describes this summer (when the ground-breaking
London Summit on Family Planning raised enough funds to improve access to contraceptives for an additional 120 million women and girls) as the summer in which Gates "vowed to dedicate
her life...to improving access to contraception to women in some of the world's poorest countries."
This is powerful stuff and it obviously takes a passionate and effective leader to drive this type of effort. Melinda Gates was able to convene some of the most important voices in the world on behalf of women's and girls' access to life-saving contraceptives,
for this pioneering event. It was no small feat and it squarely placed women back at the heart of the global health agenda, where they had fallen off from over the last few decades.
So, yes, topping the list of the most powerful women in the world is more than admirable. But I'm guessing Melinda Gates is just as happy knowing that people are finally starting to listen to (and act on) what women and girls in some of these countries are
saying they want and need: access to the information and contraceptives to be able to
determine their own futures.
For the full list of powerful females, visit