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The world's most influential women

Last updated on: November 3, 2010 11:36 IST

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If you had a choice, would you rather be like former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher or superstar Angelina Jolie?

 

It seems that women would rather follow in the footsteps of Thatcher than Jolie, as the former has topped the list of most influential women in the world, according to a survey.

 

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Image: Margaret Thatcher and Angelina Jolie
Photographs: Leon Neal and Thomas Peter/Reuters
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Thatcher garnered 31 percent of votes, while supermodel Kate Moss got just 1 percent, in the women's role model survey conducted by YouGov and AOL UK.

 

Florence Nightingale came in second, Mother Teresa third, Holocaust victim Anne Frank secured the eight spot and feminist writer Germaine Greer came in at the eleventh spot, reports The Guardian.



Image: Britain's Queen Elizabeth
Photographs: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Reuters
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But even though Thatcher was at the top, only 2 per cent women wanted to swap lives with her. When asked who they would most like to be, 26 percent of women chose Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

 

With 13 per cent of the women rooting for her, the multi-millionaire author shared the sixth spot with America's First Lady Michelle Obama.


Image: Michelle Obama and J K Rowling
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
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She might be the most powerful celebrity in the world, but talk show host Oprah Winfrey lost out to Mother Teresa (who got 25 per cent of the votes and bagged the third spot) and Britain's Queen Elizabeth (who got 24 per cent of the vote and bagged the fourth spot).

 

Winfrey, with 14 per cent of the votes, found herself at the fifth spot.



Image: Oprah Winfrey
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni and Kevin Kolczynski/Reuters
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"It's clear from the research that qualities such as intelligence and independence are highly regarded when it comes to women's perceptions of well-being, while women promoted solely on the basis of appearance are largely disregarded by a nation who want to see their role models do something with their lives," said Beverley Skeggs, a sociologist at Goldsmiths College, London.



Image: Mother Teresa
Photographs: Reuters
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Commitment, hard work and intelligence were the most cited criteria on which the women were chosen. Some women also termed prettiness as a factor in judging the influence of a woman.



Image: Former US Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters
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