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Updated by Rajashri Venkatesh on Mar 08, 2017
Headline for 10 Most Influential Women Today
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10 Most Influential Women Today

These list of 10 women have proved time and again that women are not to be underestimated. They've created such a strong place for themselves in their respective fields that not knowing them is a sin. Have a look at such amazingly inspiring women of today's generation.

Oprah Winfrey

According to Forbes magazine, Oprah was the richest African American of the 20th century and the world's only Black billionaire for three years running. Life magazine hailed her as the most influential woman of her generation. In 2005, Business Week named her the greatest Black philanthropist in American history. Oprah's Angel Network has raised more than $51,000,000 for charitable programs, including girls' education in South Africa and relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Michelle Obama

As the 44th first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama has focused her attention on issues such as the support of military families, helping working women balance career and family and encouraging national service. During the first year of the Obama presidency, Michelle and her husband volunteered at homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the Washington D.C. area. Michelle also has made appearances at public schools, stressing the importance of education and volunteer work.

Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi is an Indian-born American business executive currently serving as the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. As an employee of PepsiCo, Nooyi is credited to have directed the company’s global strategy, leading to its extensive expansion and restructuring including the divestiture of its restaurants. She played an instrumental role in PepsiCo’s acquisition of Tropicana and merger with Quaker Oats Company. She has consistently ranked on ‘Forbes’ magazine’s list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women. ’Fortune’ magazine named Indra Nooyi No.1 on its annual ranking of Most Powerful Women in business for five consecutive years from 2006 to 2010

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

On December 10th, 2007, when Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was inaugurated, she became the first elected female president – Argentina’s first female president was Isabel Martínez de Perón became president after her husband, Juan Perón, died while in office.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Yangon, Myanmar, in 1945. After years of living and studying abroad, she returned home only to find widespread slaughter of protesters rallying against the brutal rule of dictator U Ne Win. She spoke out against him and initiated a nonviolent movement toward achieving democracy and human rights. However, in 1989, the government placed Suu Kyi under house arrest, and she spent 15 of the next 21 years in custody. In 1991, her ongoing efforts won her the Nobel Prize for Peace, and she was finally released from house arrest in November 2010 and subsequently held a seat in parliament for the National League for Democracy party until 2015. That November, the NLD won a landslide victory, giving them a majority control of parliament and allowing them to select the country's next president.

Indira Gandhi

Indira Nehru Gandhi was a complex woman whose leadership in India continues to have repercussions to this day. It was on January 24, 1966, that she was sworn in as that country's first female prime minister; in honor of that anniversary, here are seven fascinating facts about her incredible life.

Jaha Dukureh

Jaha Dukureh is a Gambian women’s right activist and anti-female genital mutilation campaigner. She is the founder and executive director of Safe Hands for Girls, an organization working to end FGM, and is the lead campaigner in The Guardian's End FGM Guardian Global Media Campaign. In April 2016, she was named to the 2016 Time 100 list.

Christiana Figueres

Christiana Figueres was appointed Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in May 2010. With a long and distinguished career in the field, Ms. Figueres was a member of the Costa Rican climate change negotiating team 1995- 2009.

Guo Pei

Guo Pei is China’s most renowned couturier. For over 20 years, she has been dressing celebrities, distinguished ladies, royalty and political elite who turn to her for show-stopping, magnificent creations when they want to look beautiful and stand out from the crowd. A modern messenger of her cultural heritage, Guo Pei has breathed new life into embroidery and painting traditions that date back thousands of years. Showcasing the finest of traditional Chinese craftsmanship while incorporating contemporary innovation and Western style, Guo Pei is a passionate artisan who wants to evoke people’s emotions and inspire people through her art.

Sunita Narain

Sunita Narain is an Indian environmentalist and political activist as well as a major proponent of the Green concept of sustainable development. Narain has been with the India-based Centre for Science and Environment since 1982. She is currently the director of the Centre and the director of the Society for Environmental Communications and publisher of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth. In her years at the Centre, she has worked hard at analysing and studying the relationship between environment and development and at creating public consciousness about the need for sustainable development.