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Where women are winning (not Vanity Fair)

Brazil president Dilma Rousseff

Vanity Fair's "The New Establishment 2011" is worth a read.

Eighty-four men and 10 women make the list of top power brokers, according to the magazine. Mark Zukerberg, Facebook's founder, is at the top. J.K. Rowling and Lady Gaga are near-ish the top. Gaga is 9th and Rowling is placed 16th. Arianna Huffington shows up near the bottom, not as a power in her own right but coupled with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. Five of the women are paired with a man for their power, but Jill Abramson, who takes over as top editor at the New York Times this fall, is listed on her own, as is Sheryl Sandberg, a top executive at Facebook. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get mentioned as a team.

Newsweek's cover story this week focuses on "Where women are winning," and profiles Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. It spotlights Toni Morrison, Hillary Clinton, Nora Ephron and Robin Givhan and a story about "The Best and the Worst Countries For Women."

Where women are winning:
"A woman holds the top spot at the International Monetary Fund; another won the Nobel Peace Prize in economics. Self-made billionaires in Beijing, tech innovators in Silicon Valley, pioneering justices in Ghana," Jess Ellison writes. "But hold the applause…"

She then goes on to mention that women can't drive in Saudi Arabia, a thousand women each year die in honour killings in Pakistan and 95 percent of the female population of Somalia undergoes genital mutilation.

Women aren't paid as much and don't hold as much political power in the Western World, the author notes, and more women suffer poverty in the U.S. than they have in the let 17 years.

Newsweek rates "The Best Places to Be a Woman."

Iceland rates number one, then comes Sweden and Canada. "The only non-European country in the top five has a low score in politics, with few women in power," Newsweek says, but Canada makes up for it by providing laws that protect women from domestic violence, adolescent marriage and give women access to land and bank loans, in health, education, economics. Canada gets a score of more than 90 in all of these things, but flunks out in politics with a score of only 66.9.

Denmark comes next before Norway and the United States.

The worse places to be a woman, Newsweek claims, are Chad, Afghanistan, Yemen, Solomon Islands, Niger and Pakistan. In Chad, women have almost no legal rights and many marriages are arranged when girls are 11 or 12, Newsweek says.

In Germany, the magazine says, all 30 companies on the country's DAX index are still run by men.

Based on Vanity Fair's 2011 New Establishment list, what happens in Germany isn't unusual, but Newsweek's focus on emerging female leaders internationally indicates that from Costa Rica to Thailand, a New New Establishment of women in power is beginning to take root.

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