Yingluck '31st most powerful woman'
- Published: 23/05/2013 at 03:22 PM
- Online news:
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been ranked the 31st most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel retains her ranking as the most powerful.
In a profile of Ms Yingluck, the magazine argued that she is the prime minister of "one of Asia's fastest-growing economies" and "has succeeded at keeping a fragile peace between the country's colour-coded political enemies", described as "Democrats ('yellow shirts'), associated with monarchists, and Pheu Thai Party ('red shirts'), with a base of farmers and the working class".
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
The article added that Ms Yingluck is working to settle Southeast Asia's "most violent internal conflict" in the South of the country, in which more than 5,000 people have died.
"In an effort to resolve the deadly fighting in the Muslim, Malay-speaking southern provinces, Shinawatra has turned to Malaysia to help negotiate a peace settlement with the separatists," it said.
In terms of notoritey outside of Thailand, the profile said Ms Yingluck attracted international attention in 2013 when she pledged to outlaw Thailand's domestic ivory trade after a public campaign led by the World Wildlife Fund ambassador and actor Leonardo DiCaprio .
This year's ranking is a drop of one place for Ms Yingluck, who was ranked 30th in 2012.
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi was ranked 29th this year, 10 notches down from 19th in 2012.
The magazine hailed Aung San Suu Kyi for being elected to Myanmar's parliament less than two years after being released from nearly two decades under house arrest, in an election where her National League for Democracy party took 43 of 45 open seats.
"The human rights icon has spent the past year aggressively pushing for constitutional reforms in time for the next presidential elections in 2015," the magazine said, despite facing criticism of her new relationship with the military, which she has defended by citing the need for "negotiated compromise".
A newcomer to the list, South Korea's president Park Geun-hye is ranked 11th. She is South Korea's first female president and was elected with the nation's highest voter turnout in 15 years.
Forbes said Ms Park presides over the world's 15th largest GDP at US$1.15 trillion, but its once "Gangnam Style"-charged export economy is being challenged by China and Japan, amid international anxiety over brinksmanship on the Korean peninsula.
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