• German Chancellor Angela Merkelnull
  • US Secretary of State Hillary ClintonReuters
  • Dilma RousseffReuters
  • Melinda GatesReuters
  • Jill AbramsonPanelists.jpg: US Dept of Labo
  • Sonia GandhiReuters
  • Michelle ObamaReuters
  • Christine LagardeReuters
  • Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is the world's 8th most powerful woman, according to Forbes magazine's annual list of 100 most powerful women around the world.US Dept of Homeland Security
  • COO of Facebook, she played a key role in the company's IPO.Flickr: Sheryl Sandberg

Indian National Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi was ranked as the sixth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in its annual list of "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" published Wednesday.

Last year, the UPA chairperson was ranked as the seventh most powerful woman, but has this time pushed US First Lady Michelle Obama to the seventh spot.

German chancellor Angela Merkel topped the Forbes list, while US secretary of state Hillary Clinton grabbed the second position followed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

For the second year in a row, the trio retained their respective positions in the Forbes annual list.

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and wife of Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates made it to the fourth position, while Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times rounded up the top five list with.

The women named in the list are involved in policymaking, entertainment, technology and nonprofit organizations, among other fields, Forbes said. They were ranked keeping in mind their influence, the amount of money they control or earn, and their presence in the media.

"These power women exert influence in very different ways and to very different ends, and all with very different impacts on the global community," said Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman.

Apart from Gandhi, there are other four Indian women who made it to the "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" list.

Cisco's new Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior was ranked 58th, followed by ICICI managing director and CEO Chanda Kochchar at 59th.

Moti Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director of Biocon Limited, was in the 80thposition, while Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, Indian-American Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, slipped from 4th position to 12th this year.

This year sixteen new women were included in the list, including actress and performer Jennifer Lopez and billionaire-philanthropist and widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs.

Check the complete list here.

Click here to check the slideshow of the top 10 "World's Most Powerful Women".