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Time's Person of the Year is a woman - the first in 29 years.

Not since 1986 have we seen a woman named as Person of the Year.

This year’s Time Magazine Person of the Year joins a list of just four women ever to grace the prestigious magazine cover.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has been named by the magazine for her role in Europe’s crises over migration and Greek debt.

Mrs Merkel had provided “steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply”, editor Nancy Gibbs wrote.

time merkel cover

Merkel is only the fourth woman to ever be named Person of the Year, after Time opened up the contest to women in 1936. Until 1999, the title was actually Man of the Year.

When Corazon Aquino, the first woman president of the Philippines graced the cover in 1986 she was called a  “Woman of the Year” with a parenthetical: (Man of the Year).

Only three other women besides Merkel have held the title individually in the history of Time’s publication: Wallis Simpson in 1936, Elizabeth II in 1952, and Aquino

A group of women – Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom, Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Sherron Watkins from Enron – represented whistleblowers were crowned Persons of the Year in 2001.

Angela Merkel, 61, who grew up in East Germany before the country was reunited, has led Germany since 2005.

“Merkel had already emerged as the indispensable player in managing Europe’s serial debt crises; she also led the West’s response to Vladimir Putin’s creeping theft ofUkraine,” Time editor Nancy Gibbs said in a statement.

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“But now the prospect of Greek bankruptcy threatened the very existence of the euro zone. The migrant and refugee crisis challenged the principle of open borders. And finally, the carnage in Paris revived the reflex to slam doors, build walls and trust no one.

“Each time Merkel stepped in.”

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named runner-up and third place went to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump who had a typical Trump hissy fit after not being selected.

While Time runs a poll for readers to vote, the decision on winners is made independently by the editors. Mrs Merkel joins an list of former winners, including Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon.

Last year the title went to ebola fighters and the year before that, Pope Francis.

Time Magazine wrote that despite it being 29 years since the last female was awarded the accolade they would not be surprised if another woman won it in the near future.

merkel
The German leader was picked by the editors of the magazine.

“It seems likely that, as more women assume roles of power around the world,” Radhika Jones wrote for the magazine “from Christine Lagarde to Janet Yellen to Sheryl Sandberg to Aung San Suu Kyi, we will have more female candidates in the Person of the Year pipeline.

“I don’t think a woman is going to be pope anytime soon, or take over from Putin. But I doubt it will be another 30 years before the Person of the Year is a woman. It might only be one.”

Lets hope so.

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