Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the 32nd most powerful woman in the world, ahead of Queen Elizabeth II at 46th, according to Forbes.
In its 17th annual ranking of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Forbes editor Maggie McGrath said Ardern was recognised after she “vanquished a first and second wave of a virus in her country by implementing strict lockdown and quarantine procedures”.
“Ardern set new norms as a government leader when she gave birth, took six weeks maternity leave and shared that her partner will be a stay-at-home dad,” the magazine said.
“As leader of the Labour Party, she promises an ‘empathetic’ government, with ambitious plans to tackle climate change and child poverty.
“In 2020, she received global praise for her capable handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. New Zealand successfully eliminated the virus in both waves.”
Ardern is up from her 2019 placing of 38th. In 2018, she was named the 29th most powerful woman in the world.
Meanwhile, the world’s most powerful woman remains German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who also held the title last year.
Second on the list is Christine Lagarde, the first woman to head the European Central Bank. Third is US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Other names on the list includes Melinda Gates (5th), the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, US Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (7th), and broadcaster and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey (20th).
Queen Elizabeth was recognised for being the longest reigning British monarch.
“She has become much loved and respected globally,” Forbes said.
“The 94-year-old matriarch is still setting the tone at public events and receiving world leaders at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
“Her patronages and charities cover a range of issues, from opportunities for young people, to the preservation of wildlife and the environment.”