Closing The Gap

These are the world's 100 most influential people in gender policy this year, researchers say

First Lady Michelle Obama during the Midatlantic Regional Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, January 20, 2009.

Michelle Obama, Melinda Gates and the IMF's Christine Lagarde have been named among the world's most influential people in gender policy this year.

Apolitical, a peer-to-peer lending platform for governments, unveiled its list of the world's 100 most influential individuals on gender equality on Wednesday. It recognized politicians, activists and academics, among others, who were shaping gender policy in 2019.

Obama, who is married to former U.S. President Barack Obama, was named America's "Most Admired Woman" at the end of last year, and her memoir, "Becoming," was the best-selling hardcover book of 2018.

Last year, Melinda Gates unveiled a $170 million fund for investing in gender equality around the world, while the IMF's Christine Lagarde has publicly championed the economic benefits of closing the gender pay gap.

Others named on the 2019 list include former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, equality activist and actress Emma Watson, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In a press release on Wednesday, Apolitical's executive chairman Lisa Witter said it was "time to showcase the inspirational people who are pioneering change and shaping gender policy around the globe."

The list was curated from nominations from thousands of gender experts from leading organizations, including the UN, The World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Apolitical received more than 9,000 nominations this year.

Apolitical's "World's 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy 2019" can be read in full here.