The intriguing tale of the Moroccan shepherd girl who is the first French woman to be appointed as Education Minister

najat vallaud belkacem

When she was just a four year old kid, fetching water from the well and tending the herd of sheep were her routine jobs. This shepherd girl lived in Morocco with her family. Her father worked in France as a construction worker, so he asked his family to move to his place, hoping a better future for his kids. They were reluctant initially, but later their unwillingness grew weak and they left their country and moved to France.

It is always difficult for one who is forced to leave the country, forced to abandon the memories of home. Nothing can placate the pain of being called a refugee. The little shepherd girl went through this ordeal and overcame the obstacles and currently serving as the Education Minister of France.

The anecdote of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem is pretty much gripping with the opportunities and difficulties. Her father was a hardworking and a strict man. The discipline he implanted in Najat and her sister helped them to shape up their lives irrespective of their circumstances. Najat’s sister Fatiha is a lawyer in Paris.

She had graduated from the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies) in 2002. In the same year, she joined the Socialist Party of France. She had no proficiency in French and learnt the language by the end of her first year in college. To reduce the financial pressure from her parents, she had taken two jobs while pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration.

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem commenced her political career in 2002 with the Socialist Party. Initially she was an advisor to the mayor of Lyon. That time she started working on issues like citizen rights, affordable housing and discrimination.

Later she fought the election and won the seat of Councillor. In 2012, she was appointed as the Minister of Women’s Affairs by François Hollande, the then Socialist president. In 2014, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem worked as the Minister of Women’s Right, Minister of City Affairs, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. In a major cabinet shuffle, she was selected to serve as the Minister of Education.