Dominique Strauss-Kahn's wife Anne Sinclair, who stood by the disgraced former IMF chief during his sex scandal, was named Woman of the Year in a poll for a French woman's magazine.
Sinclair, a 63-year-old French journalist and wealthy art heiress, was chosen as the woman who had most "made her mark" in 2011 in the CSA poll for online women's magazine Terrafemina.
She scored 25 per cent support among the 10 female personalities that respondents were asked to rank, followed by current IMF chief Christine Lagarde with 24 per cent and the former contender to be the Socialist party candidate in next year's presidential vote, Martine Aubry, with 23 per cent.
French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy scored 16 per cent support while at the bottom of the list was writer Tristane Banon, who had accused Strauss-Kahn of an attempted rape in 2003, with four per cent.
Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign as the head of the International Monetary Fund following accusations of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York, a scandal that made headlines worldwide.
The charges were dropped in August but the scandal halted his ambitions for the French presidency.
In the Banon case, prosecutors ruled that while Strauss-Kahn had admitted to acts "that could be qualified as sexual assault", the statute of limitations on such an offence was only three years.
Sinclair publicly stood by her husband during the scandal, appearing regularly at his side.
Eva Joly, the Green Party presidential candidate who came seventh in the poll with 11 per cent support, said the result reflected outdated views of women in French society.
"I find it quite alarming, incredible even, that she can be considered more popular than the IMF's Christine Lagarde - a female politician of the first rank," Joly told i-Tele television.
"I find this sad - it represents concepts of life and male-female relations that are very, very outdated," Joly said.
The poll of 1,005 people, both men and women, was conducted by telephone on December 6 and 7.
Strauss-Kahn returned to public life with an economic forum speech in Beijing, where he delivered a 45-minute address on the dangers facing debt-burdened Europe.