Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa among Time’s 25 most influential women

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Friday, November 19, 2010

WASHINGTON - Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and Albanian nun Mother Teresa, who made India her home, are among Time magazine’s “25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century.”

The US news magazine’s survey of “the women who have most influenced our world” is topped by Jane Addams, an outspoken advocate for women’s suffrage, who was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize and includes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the sixth place.

Indira Gandhi ranked ninth, figured on TIME cover when she was elected prime minister in 1966 with a line reading, “Troubled India in a Woman’s Hands.”

“Those steady hands went on to steer India, not without controversy, for much of the next two decades through

recession, famine, the detonation of the nation’s first atomic bomb, a corruption scandal and a civil war in neighbouring Pakistan that, under her guidance, led to the creation of a new state, Bangladesh,” the magazine said.

“By the time she was assassinated, in 1984, Gandhi was the world’s longest-serving female prime minister, a distinction she holds to this day.”

Of Mother Teresa, ranked 22nd, Time said: “Her iconic white garb with its blue stripe trim is now equated with her ideals of service and charity among ‘the poorest of the poor.’”

“Sometimes criticised for lacking adequate medical training, not addressing poverty on a grander scale, actively opposing birth control and abortion and even cosying up to dictators, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize nonetheless inspired countless volunteers to serve, and will wear her white habit all the way to Catholic sainthood,” it said.

Full List

1.. Jane Addams (1860-1935)

2.. Corazon Aquino (1933-2009)

3.. Rachel Carson (1907-1964)

4.. Coco Chanel (1883-1971)

5.. Julia Child (1912-2004)

6.. Hillary Clinton (1947-Present)

7.. Marie Curie (1867-1934)

8.. Aretha Franklin (1942-Present)

9.. Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)

10.. Este Lauder (1908-2004)

11.. Madonna (1958-Present)

12.. Margaret Mead (1901-1978)

13.. Golda Meir (1898-1978)

14.. Angela Merkel (1954-Present)

15.. Sandra Day O’Connor (1930-Present)

16.. Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

17.. Jiang Qing (1914-1991)

18.. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

19.. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)

20.. Gloria Steinem (1934-Present)

21.. Martha Stewart (1941-Present)

22.. Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

23.. Margaret Thatcher (1925-Present)

24.. Oprah Winfrey (1954-Present)

25.. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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