Photo: Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Source: Global Information Network - Photo: 2022

Only Three Africans on Forbes List of 100 Most Powerful Women

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) — Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is the current Director General of the World Trade Organization, and Nigerian media mogul Mosunmola Abudu are the only African women featured in the list of the World’s Most Powerful 100 Women by Forbes.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the top-ranked African woman at position 91. The Director-General of the World Trade Organization since March 2021, she is the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization as Director-General.

In 95th place on the list is Samia Suluhu Hassan, president of Tanzania since March 2021. She became president following the death of President John Pombe Magufuli and is the first female president of Tanzania.

Mosunmola Abudu, at age 58, is the youngest of the African women on the Forbes list. A media mogul, philanthropist and a former human resources management consultant, she is highly ranked among the 25 most powerful women in global television. 

Despite the minimal representation in platforms such as Forbes, the continent has demonstrated a commitment to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Almost all countries have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; more than half have ratified the African Union’s Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa. Other milestones include the African Union’s declaration of 2010–2020 as the African Women’s Decade.

Although Africa includes both low- and middle-income countries, poverty rates are still high. The majority of women work in insecure, poorly paid jobs with few opportunities for advancement. Democratic elections are increasing, and a record number of women have successfully run for seats. But electoral-related violence is a growing concern.

In contrast, the United States has 50 women on the same Forbes list, including Vice President Kamala Harris, philanthropist Melinda Gates, media star Oprah Winfrey and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The list was determined by four main metrics: money, media, impact and spheres of influence. For political leaders,” noted Forbes. “We weighed gross domestic products and populations; for corporate leaders, revenues and employee counts; and media mentions and reach of all. The result is a collection of women who are fighting the status quo.”

Iranian woman Jina “Mahsa” Amini also made it to the list at position 100, albeit posthumously. Her death in September sparked the unprecedented women-led revolution in Iran. [IDN-InDepthNews — 27 December 2022]

Photo: Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Source: Global Information Network

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