Strong Female Characters

Now - what makes a strong female character? 

If someone asked me to name top 3 female characters who was the epitome of strong woman characters, I would name:

1. Balailaika - from Black Lagoon  - the "kneel!" scene gets me every time. 
2. Liza Hawkeye - from Full Metal Alchemist - That scene when she attacks Envy.
3. Caterina Sforza - from Trinity Blood - when she learns how much time she has left. 

Now, they are actually all from Japanese Manga. Maybe because their expressions and their speech was so memorable? Maybe novels I've read had strong female characters, but it was more subtle? 

Granted - a lot of 'strong' images I have of woman in stories involve fighting. From my list there, save for Liza and Balalaika are veteran war soldiers. Balalaika and Caterina both command an army of dedicated soldiers loyal to them. They both have power and money - (Balalaika is leader of the mafia cartel, whereas Caterina is the Cardinal of the Catholic Church and sister of the Pope.) 

Someone once told me the problem with women in media was that most scenes involving two women - they always talked about men, their appearance or shopping. 
Of course it really doesn't help that most games and media portray women in bikinis with huge boobs. 

- is it their ability to fight? 
- is it the amount of wealth? power? fame?
- is it strong mental health where they won't break under any sort of torture or pressure? 
(I once wrote a story where a female character withstood vicious bullying from her peers and refused the opportunity to get payback multiple times - but she was criticized for "not doing anything")
- is it standing in face of horrors? 

What do you think?