Celebrating women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds on International Women’s Day, we had a look at the 2017 Forbes list of the ‘world’s 100 most powerful women’ to see who this years key influential figures were. Ranking top of the list ten times, from 2006 to 2009 and again from 2011 to 2016, Angel Merkel is one of the most powerful political leaders of this day and age.
Surpassing Hillary Clinton and Janet Yellen, Merkel has spent 12 powerful years in office and has as a leading figure in politics, paved a truly inspirational way in a time when more women than ever are leading, or running for office in many of the world’s largest nations. Germany is the world’s fifth largest economy and the largest led by a woman, the chancellor is most definitely a force to be reckoned with.
From her lead in Europe to steering Germany safely through the recession Angela Merkel has transformed German politics since being voted into office. Amongst her many achievements, we have listed some of her greatest here:
In 2011, after more than 50 years the Bundeswehr (armed forces) abolished compulsory conscription as part of plans to reduce the size of the military.This decision marked a profound change for Germany, where compulsory service was re-introduced 50 years ago.
Introduced parent benefit
In 2007, parent benefit was introduced in an effort to support couples with children. Germany has a long tradition of creating and maintaining strong social programs and this was a beneficial development for people planning to start a family.
Introduced a minimum wage
In 2015, an hourly minimum wage of €8.50 (£7-an-hour) rate was introduced to help tackle growing social divisions and deal with increasing wage inequality. Other European countries have been adjusting their minimum wage policies.
Following the Fukushima disaster, Merkel shut eight of Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors as part of a long-term transition to alternative energy sources. Germany has since become one of the most forward thinking countries in terms of energy reform policies and hopeful plans show that 60 percent of all energy in Germany will come from renewable energies by 2050.
Most importantly though, we congratulate Merkel on succeeding as a woman in a male-oriented party. Happy International Women’s Day!