Saturday, September 01, 2007

Forbes Top 100 Powerful Women

From the for what it's worth department, comes this list compiled by one of the leading business magazines, Forbes. Despite the dwindling circulation numbers that have hit all in the print media, Forbes plugs along and still carries a lot of influence in the corporate capitalist world. Being named to a list like this one is a marketing tool all unto itself.

But be that as it may, I am more than certain some will discredit this list for a variety of reasons, not the least that it is a tool of the evil corporate world that seeks to exploit the masses for its own selfish and greedy reasons. Some will say that it is biased, but oh well. Name some publication that isn't a little biased. And some may even lay claim that it isn't a scientific measurement, to which I would say they're correct. But this cannot be measured, so what's the use in trying.

No, it is the opinions of Forbes and solely their opinion, for whatever it it is worth. Nothing more, nothing less. It is the list we are talking about in this post, not the validity (ot lack thereof).

Some things that stand out to the editorial staff of PYY are obvious. All one has to do it read the list and it becomes plain that the argument can be made for most of the women, as well against some of them. So, here goes nothing.

Breakdown of the continents are as follows:

(Note-I have counted these several times, my eyes are crossing from fatigue and if they are not correct, let me know. If I verify that I am wrong, I will correct it. I have counted them several times and I am just not going to count them again.)

North America ~ 50

Europe ~ 23

Asia ~ 21

Africa ~ 2

Australia/New Zealand ~ 2

South America ~ 1

Caribbean ~ 1

All of North America's women are from the U.S., none are from Mexico or Canada. Mexico doesn't surprise me as much as Canada, not making the list. Conspicuously missing from Europe are Belgium, Norway, and Switzerland. Another noticeable point: Russia lies in both Asia and Europe and is still a powerful nation, despite the fall of the Soviet Union . But they didn't make it.

China has made a good showing, as has the U.K. A couple of real surprises have lit brightly and have come in the form of Chile and Jamaica having representation, above some of the countries that didn't make it.

From this list, one can begin to think that power lies in the hands of the most capitalist of nations. And I would concur with that thought without much reservation, for the most part. But more than anything, the one point that I would like to make in all of this is, the power lies more so in the countries that honor and respect their women the most. A handful of predominantly Muslim nations (which are less generous in the world of women's rights) were by far, the biggest surprise. Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, and the UAE made a showing. Yet, it comes as little surprise that Saudi Arabia (which has massive wealth throughout its borders) failed to place one woman on the list. Iran didn't either.

Maybe this is because in these two nations, women are treated like second class citizens. I know there are many educated women in Iran and that they hold some esteemed places of prominence, within the workplaces of Iranian society. But overall, women still take a back seat to men in most areas of everyday life. They are forced to submit to men's rules or else. The recent campaign of re-Islamisizing the women's dress code is one area that stands out, as evidence of this poor attitude. Saudi Arabia has the worse reputation of them all. There, women are nothing more than property of men and do not even have the right to vote.

Besides the national and economic demographics, there are some other surprises.

I was very shocked to see Hillary Clinton at 25th, with Condi Rice at 4th. I am not sure I agree with it, either, I would place Hillary a bit higher than 25th and Condo somewhat lower than 4th. (If Hillary is elected in 2008, I would say that she would more than likely jump to 1st place, instantly.)

So, there is my opinion about the opinion, albeit it is not comprehensive . Make of it what you wish, say what you will. Like the list itself, when it comes down to it, it doesn't mean a damned thing. All that have made it this far in the post can now go waste time reading something else that means nothing. But before you go, I have one last parting shot for all to consider: All continents had some representation except for one, Antarctica. And I think the good citizens of Antarctica should be appalled.

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