Who are the most influential women in Asia?

asked by Laura DeZuff
614 contributors
24 solutions
  1. 47

    #1Malala Yousafzai

    Malala Yousafzai

    Malala Yousafzai became worlwide known in 2012 when she was shot in the head by the Taliban on her way to school. Since then this young activist has campaigned around the world for the educational rights of girls and has been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Amber Soto
    Written on February 16, 2018
    "I thought this young women was a perfect example of the most influential woman in Asia. Her story is truly inspiring and has given hope to so many woman around the world."
  2. 46

    #2Marie Kondo

    Marie Kondo

    Marie Kondo is a Japanese best selling author worldwide known for her "KonMari" method for organizing and tidying up. She was ranked in TIME Magazine's Most Influential people in 2015.

    Doris Ellis
    Written on February 12, 2018
    "I wanted to learn more about influential women in Asia, just for my own knowledge. This lady is pretty impressive! As a best-selling author and a lifestyle expert, she definitely qualifies as an influential woman. However, I was thinking more along the lines of a political figure, or an activist, or something."
  3. 43

    #3Zhang Xin

    Zhang Xin

    Zhang Xin is co-founder and CEO of Soho China Ltd, the largest commercial real estate developer in China. She is one of the top businesswomen in the world, listed as the 62nd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

    Sara Medina
    Written on February 19, 2018
    "Zhang Xin is one of the most influential women in Asia, if not in the world. She is such a role model for women every where. She overcame hardship growing up and is now one of the most powerful women in the world. She gives young girls something to aspire to become. She is truely an example of how hardwork and dedication pays off."
  1. 40

    #4Yingluck Shinawatra

    Yingluck Shinawatra

    Yingluck Shinawatra was Thailand's first female Prime Minister. She had a long business career before she started her path in politics with the Pheu Thai Party. She was also the youngest Prime Minister in 60 years.

    Louis Bryant
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "Yingluck Shinawatra, nicknamed Pu, is a Thai businesswoman and politician. She is a member of the Pheu Thai Party who became the 28th Prime Minister of Thailand following the 2011 election."
  2. 39

    #5Ailee (Amy Lee)

    Ailee (Amy Lee)

    Ailee (Amy Lee) is a  is a Korean-American singer-songwriter, dancer, actress, and model. She was born in Denver, Colorado, where built a popular YouTube channel and later, migrated to Korea to take off as an artist.

    Rose Cruz
    Written on March 29, 2018
    "Yes, Ailee is influential. But at the end of the day she has had the advantage of being born in America. Please don't take me wrong, I am not trying to be racist. I think that this topic is best met by a female who grew up in Asia. "
  3. 37

    #6Jin Xing

    Jin Xing

    Jin Xing is the first transgender woman to receive the government's approval to undergo a sex change and to be recognized as a woman. She is a ballerina, a modern dancer, choreographer, and actress, and was the most known judge in the So You Think You Can Dance show.

    Howard Alexander
    Written on March 6, 2018
    "I'm not certain being a judge on a TV show is a very influential role. The fact that she's the first recognized transgender woman might be influential to a small number of people as well."
  4. 34

    #7Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

    Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

    Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore. In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal for her contributions to the science and ranked in the Financial Times' top 50 women in business.

    Zhang Fang
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Kiran is an absolute beast, she can do it all. Many women try to succeed in the same areas where she has excelled and they fall flat on their face but not her, she works in a mostly male driven field and has managed to fight her way to the top of it. She should be on anyones list for the most influential women in Asia."
  5. 33

    #8Koyuki Higashi

    Koyuki Higashi

    Koyuki Higashi (Aura Maki) is a Japanese actress, writer, and  LGBT activist. She and her couple, Hiroko Masuhara, were the first same-sex partnership married in Tokyo. 

    Virginia Kennedy
    Written on March 10, 2018
    "One of my favorite celebrities is Koyuki Higashi (Aura Maki). the Japenese actress, writer, and LGBT activist. I have seen and enjoyed most of her movies. Her LGBT activism is also something I admire as it really takes courage to do in that part of the world. She is not well know in America but in Asia, she is one of the most influential and powerful women."
  6. 30

    #9Yayoi Kusama

    Yayoi Kusama

    Yayoi Kusama is as Japanese contemporary artist who became part of the 1960s' New York art scene. She's worldwide known for her walk-in installations and polka dot style. In 2017 the Yayoi Kusama Museum was inaugurated in Tokyo.

    Justin West
    Written on February 9, 2018
    "This website for Yayoi Kusama offers both English and Japanese and gives insight into how influential their art has been for many decades and shows how their influence has shaped Japanese contemporary art."
  7. 30

    #10Hoon Eng Khoo

    Hoon Eng Khoo

    This woman is a renowned scientist and academic professor that has become a founder part of the new faculty of Yale-NUS College. But before she was a founder of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh and founded a women’s advocacy group in Kuala Lumpur.


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  8. 28

    #11Sri Mulyani Indrawati

    Sri Mulyani Indrawati

    Sri Mulyani Indrawati is an Indonesian economist who has been Minister of Finance of Indonesia since 2005 and Managing Director of the World Bank Group since 2010.

    Joseph Gordon
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "Sri Mulyani Indrawati has the knowledge and experience working in government for more than 13 years. She is an expert in economic matters. She provides insight in different financial reforms in Indonesia and the whole Asian continent."
  9. 26

    #12Margaret Chan

    Margaret Chan

    Margaret Chan is the General Director of the World Health Organization and formerly Hong Kong's Director of Health. She was ranked as the 30th most powerful woman in the world according to Forbes.

    Peter Evans
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "I found this information very informative. This will serve as a great point of reference for my term paper."
  10. 24

    #13Ho Ching

    Ho Ching

    Ho Ching is the Chief Executive Director and CEO of Temasek Holdings since 2002 and listed as the 30th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

    Kathryn Hughes
    Written on March 4, 2018
    "I first met Ho Ching when she was an engineer with the Ministry of Defense. I was in Singapore for an engineering conference in 1978 and she was in attendance. Even then she had a passion for children and their health and welfare."
  11. 22

    #14Naomi Watanabe

    Naomi Watanabe

    Naomi Watanabe is a Japanese actress, comedian, fashion designer, and influencer with more than 6 million followers on Instagram and know as "the Japanese Beyoncé".

    Vicky Duan
    Written on March 14, 2018
  12. 21

    #15Freida Pinto

    Freida Pinto

    Freida Pinto (1984, Bombay, India) is an Indian actress and model. She is known for movies like 'Slumdog millionaire', 'You will meet a tall dark stranger' or 'Rise of the Planet of the apes'. Alongside her career, she is involved in humanitarian causes related to women and children.

    Laura Zuffi
    Written on February 15, 2018
    "Great actress! I loved her interpretation in Slumdog Millionaire, Miral and Trishna."
  13. 18

    #16Arundhati Roy

    Arundhati Roy

    Arundhati Roy (1961, Meghalaya, India) is an Indian writer, actress and political activist. Her debut novel, 'The God of small things' won the Booker Prize in 1997. She is also known for writing and costarring the film 'Annie gives it to those ones'. She is involved in several environmental and human rights causes.

    Zachary Moreno
    Written on March 11, 2018
    "She is fantastic. She's multitalented, vastly intelligent, and caring. She is an amazing woman."
  14. 16

    #17Priyanka Chopra

    Priyanka Chopra

    Priyanka Chopra is an Indian actress, singer, film producer, and philanthropist. She is known for her roles in The Hero: Love Story of A Spy, Fashion, and Kaminey. She is also the founder of The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education.



    Jane Santos
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "Priyanka Chopra has made herself a household name through her cinematic work. She is well known and well loved. Her influence, however, reaches far beyond that through her work as an advocate. As the founder of The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education she has helped to improve the lives of countless individuals."
  15. 14

    #18Mira Nair

    Mira Nair

    Mira Nair (1957, Odisha, India) is an Indian filmmaker based in New York City. With her production company, Mirabai Films, she has produced films like 'Mississippi Masala', 'The Namesake', 'Monsoon wedding' and 'Salaam Bombay'. She is also an adjunct professor at the Columbia University.

    Bella Zeng
    Written on March 7, 2018
    " In what appeared to be a reversal of political fortunes stemming from the months-old Rohingya crisis, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi fell seven spots in a ranking of the world's most powerful women while the prime minister of neighbouring Bangladesh overtook her to clinch the 30th ..."
  16. 13

    #19Sunny Leone

    Sunny Leone

    Sunny Leone (1981, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian-born Indian-American actress and model. She is known for the erotic thriller 'Jism' and the movies 'Jackpot', 'Ragini MMS 2' and 'Ek Paheli Leela', as well a large list of porn films. She is also an activist involved in animal and human causes.

    Wayne Hunt
    Written on February 13, 2018
    "She is a stunning world renowned actress who has also done lots of work as a model. She has been working in Bollywood films recently and her body of work is impressive and continues to grow. She is also a proponent of many worthy causes in the areas of animals and human rights."
  17. 10

    #20Sania Mirza

    Sania Mirza

    Sania Mirza is an Indian professional tennis player who has been considered the most successful female Indian tennis player ever. She has been ranked in the "50 Heroes of Asia" list by Time in 2005 and in the "100 most influential people in the world" list by Time Magazine in 2016.

    Shirley Rodriguez
    Written on March 30, 2018
    "When considering the most influential women in Asia Sania Mirza is a good example of this. An influential women is someone that brings inspiration to people and motivates people to do better and continue to work to be better. Sania Mirza is able to speak to people from an Indian background AND women as a sex in general showing us what we are capable of when we dedicate ourselves to our passions. "
  18. 7

    #21Chanda Kochhar

    Chanda Kochhar

    Chanda Kochhar serves as managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank. She has been awarded with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Citizenship, joining the ranks of Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. She is widely known for her contribution to shaping retail banking in India and providing financial tools to Indian entrepreneurs.

    Randy Lewis
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "I'm writing a report on Chanda Kochhar for my economics class. What an inspiring example of a woman taking charge and succeeding on the world economic stage. Bravo Chandra... you rock!"
  19. 7

    #22Gargee Ghosh

    Gargee Ghosh

    Gargee Ghosh serves as director of Development Policy & Finance at the Gates Foundation, a private foundation aimed to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty around the world, with its headquarters in Washington.  Garghee holds a graduate degree in economics from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Victoria in Canada.

    Linda Brewer
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "Anything to help the healthcare system is better than the things we have now. So to know that it could reduce extreme poverty and low-income families could get a break, this is very important."
  20. 4

    #23Padmasree Warrior

    Padmasree Warrior

    Padmasree Warrior is Chief Executive Officer of NIO, an international start-up developing premium electric autonomous vehicles, headquartered in San Jose, California. She was born in the city of Vijayawada, India, and holds a master's degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University (NY).

    Harry Bell
    Written on March 12, 2018
    "Padmasree Warrior is a real influential woman in Asia. Forbes ranked her as the 71st-most powerful woman in the world. There's a real story behind her."
  21. 1

    #24Kiran Desai

    Kiran Desai

    Kiran Desai is an Indian writer who has been educated in India, England and the US. She has been awarded with the Betty Trask Award, for its first novel Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (1998) and with the Man Booker Prize for its second novel, The Inheritance of Loss (2006).

    Scott Gardner
    Written on March 11, 2018
    "Complex books that requires focus. The book take you lands that you may not know much about and are successful in that matter. There are stretch of some books that can drag on or be boring, but overall good reading experience."


Best Who are the most influential women in Asia
1Malala YousafzaiCharacters 47 Paid
2Marie KondoPeople 46 Paid
3Zhang XinPeople 43 Paid
4Yingluck ShinawatraPeople 40 Paid
5Ailee (Amy Lee)People 39 Paid
6Jin XingPeople 37 Paid
7Kiran Mazumdar-ShawPeople 34 Paid
8Koyuki Higashi People 33 Paid
9Yayoi KusamaPeople 30 Paid
10Hoon Eng KhooPeople 30 Paid

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