Middle East First Ladies lauded in ‘most powerful’ rankings

Qatar’s Sheikha Mozah, Jordan’s Queen Rania and UAE minister Sheikha Lubna named in list
Middle East First Ladies lauded in ‘most powerful’ rankings
By Staff writer
Wed 27 Oct 2010 03:48 PM

Four Arab women, including Qatar’s First Lady, HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al Misnad, have been ranked among the world’s most powerful women in Forbes’ annual listing.

Sheikha Mozah, wife of Qatar’s Emir, was ranked the world’s 50th most powerful woman, due to her “ambitious initiatives directed at women, children and education”.

The magazine said: “She is actively working to fight domestic violence, improve children's labour rights and give the disabled more access to jobs. To stop the spread of extremism among youth, this mother of seven is leading programs in and around Qatar to improve education and increase employment opportunities for young people."

America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, topped the list followed by Irene Rosenfeld, the chief executive behind Kraft Foods’ $18bn takeover over bid of Cadbury. US talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey snared the third spot in the rankings. 

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan al Qasimi, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Trade and the first woman to hold a cabinet position in the Gulf state, was ranked no.70.

Forbes said: “Her persistent calls for an open trade policy and her efforts to diversify the economy have helped put Dubai on the road to recovery.”

The continued efforts of Jordan’s First Lady, Queen Rania Al Abdullah, to improve education, human rights and women’s issues saw her take the no.76 spot.

Kuwait’s Maha Al Ghunaim, the chair and managing director of one of the biggest investment firm in the region Gulf Investment House was ranked no. 94 in the list.

Moira Forbes, vice president and publisher of ForbesWoman, told the newswire Reuters that the women on the list were “shaping many of the agenda setting conversations of the day”.

She said: “They have built companies and brands, sometimes by non-traditional means and they have broken through gender barriers in areas of commerce, politics, sports and media and cultural zeitgeist, and thereby affecting the lives of millions, sometimes billions of people.”

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