With determination, dedication and sheer courage one can achieve anything aspired to, even your dreams. The story of how a young shepherd girl becomes education minister of a country like France is no less inspiring. It teaches us that despite our circumstances, nothing can stop us from achieving our goals if we follow the right path even if it may be tough.
Najat Valaud Belkacem is a true woman of substance. The young education minister of France is a shining example and an inspiring figure for woman around the world. She has proved that despite of where you come from and regardless of lack of resources, determination, belief in oneself and the willpower to be an achiever is the main motivational force in achieving your goals.
Najat Belkacem was born in the Moroccan village of Nador in the countryside of Bni Chiker in 1977. She is the second child of 7 siblings. she too herded sheep while her father worked on a construction site. Her family shifted to Amiens in France in 1982. By this time Najat had her own dreams and ambitions to achieve something in life.Her determination to be educated motivated her to study hard till she was rewarded with graduation from the Paris Institute of Political studies in 2002. That was the first step towards her political career.
Start of Political Career:
Her political career started by joining the socialist party. With that her foray into politics was marked by several movements to fight for citizen rights and end discrimination in the country. Within a year of joining politics she was awarded with to work under the Mayor of Lyon.
Her hard work and sheer grit paid off. She never allowed herself to back down in the wake of competition. Even though she wasn’t financially sound, she still stood her ground and persevered without losing hope.
She was subsequently married in 2005 to Boris Vallaud and became a proud mother of twins, a boy and a girl. She didn’t allow marriage to interfere with her political career. The first major position came in 2008 when she was appointed a council woman.
Her promotion to a higher position came soon after in the same year when she was elevated to the post of council general of the Rhone department. Najat was now in the spotlight as a fresh face and a rising star in the political arena of France. In 2012 she received a huge boost in her political journey when she won the election and was given the portfolio of Minister of women’s rights and the spokeswoman to President Hollande.
Life isn’t a carousel ride for anyone. Najat too faced major hurdles in her political career when opposing parties raked up her poverty stricken past. She was an easy target for racial comments and discrimination. Her status as an immigrant made her somewhat an outsider among the bourgeoise of French politics.
She was criticized for her support to legislation advocating gay rights and gay marriage but she did not allow such trifles to wander off the path; she stuck to her own principles and fought back.
1st Female Education Minister:
In 2014 she was rewarded with a cabinet position becoming the first female Education Minister of France which shocked several people in political circles of France. Her appointment made history not only as the first female but also the first Muslim and youngest woman to achieve that position.
Her journey may not have been an easy one but how this shepherd girl became the education minister is truly remarkable, establishing firmly the belief that hard work pays off. Najat recently made a phenomenal announcement much to the delight of her supporters and the young generation of France. She announced a 250 million euro plan to promote education and end racism in her country. We wish her every success.