Najat Vallaud-Belkacem – the new face of France
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The 34-year-old is known as the "face" of the new French government. She is both minister of women's rights – a post resurrected after decades of absence – and government spokesperson, handpicked to embody Hollande's reforms and firefight on the media frontline. In a country still shellshocked by a divisive election campaign, marked by the rise of the far right and its anti-immigration discourse borrowed by Nicolas Sarkozy, Vallaud-Belkacem's appointment is symbolic. It is also part of a much-demanded reshaping of government. France's new cabinet, with 50% women, is doing far better than the European average of 26% women, and in particular the UK, which has five women out of 23 cabinet members. In addition, 20% of the new French cabinet are from ethnic minorities (seven ministers out of 34), compared with just one minister in Cameron's cabinet: Lady Warsi.
Born in rural Morocco, Vallaud-Belkacem arrived in France, aged four, with her mother to join her father, a construction worker. The second of seven children, she grew up on a poor estate on the outskirts of the northern town of Amiens in the Somme. Her parents, as foreigners, didn't have the right to vote, and the family didn't talk politics, except to tut when the far-right Jean-Marie Le Pen appeared on television. Vallaud-Belkacem "flourished" at school, as she puts it, swayed as much by Voltaire's Zadig as the Berber songs of her parents. She got French nationality at 18. With scholarships, she studied at France's Institute of Political Science and worked as a jurist. But when in 2002, Le Pen shocked France by getting through to the final round of the presidential election, knocking out the Socialists, she felt she had to go into politics. Elected councillor in Lyon and rising up the ranks of Lyon's town hall and the Socialist party, she found herself on a plane in 2006 with Ségolène Royal, then running to be France's first woman president. She offered to help Royal, who made her her spokesperson. This year, Hollande gave her the same post in his own presidential campaign.
She was shocked when, after she was appointed to government, the right and far right attacked her as a threat because of her double French and Moroccan nationality. "For 10 years I've been totally engaged in serving the public good. I feel totally French – I don't feel half-French because of my dual nationality. For me, dual nationality just means I don't deny my roots," she says
PÁ MARROQUINOS NA EUROPA SÃO AOS MILHÕES.SEMPRE A ENRIQUECER-NOS OBVIAMENTE.E SÃO SEMPRE MODERADOS...ATÉ RECEBEREM ORDENS DO CONTRÁRIO...
OS FRANCESES VÃO TER MAIS UMAS MESQUITAS...