Hadia Tajik

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Hadia Tajik
Nordiska radets session i Helsingfors 2012.jpg
Tajik in 2013
Minister of Culture
In office
21 September 2012 – 16 October 2013
Monarch Harald V
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Preceded by Anniken Huitfeldt
Succeeded by Thorhild Widvey
Member of the Norwegian Parliament
for Oslo
Assumed office
14 September 2009
Personal details
Born (1983-07-18) 18 July 1983 (age 30)
Bjørheimsbygd, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Political party Labour Party
Alma mater University of Oslo
Stavanger University College
Kingston University
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Religion Islam

Hadia Tajik (born 18 July 1983) is a Pakistani-Norwegian jurist, journalist and politician. She is a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party representing Oslo.[1]

On 21 September 2012 she was appointed Minister of Culture and, at 29 years of age, became the youngest minister ever to serve in the Norwegian government, as well as the first Muslim.[2] Unlike some of her older predecessors and colleagues, Tajik is an enthusiastic user of social media, and an avid supporter of E-books, and as a result she is often called Norway's "first digital Minister of Culture".[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Hadia Tajik was born on 18 July 1983 in the village of Bjørheimsbygd in Strand, Rogaland, to M. Sarwar Tajik (born 1947) and mother Safia Qazalbash (born 1948), emigrants from Pakistan in the early 1970s. After completing Bjørheimsbygd Primary School as one of only seven pupils, she attended Tau Lower Secondary School between 1996 and 1998 and later Strand Upper Secondary School from 1998 to 2001.

She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Stavanger University College, after which she studied human rights at Kingston University in England from 2004 to 2005, earning a Masters degree. She subsequently enrolled in and studied law at the University of Oslo receiving her Master of Law degree in 2012.[4]

Political career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Tajik was active in politics from an early age, and was the leader of the Strand chapter of the Workers' Youth League (AUF) from 1999 to 2002, before becoming deputy leader of the Rogaland AUF from until 2003. She served as an advisor for the Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, from 2006 to 2008.[5] In 2008 she temporarily held the position of advisor to the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Subsequently, from 2008 to 2009, she served as political advisor to the Minister of Justice, Knut Storberget. While serving under Storberget, she was accused of being involved in the so-called hijab-affair. The Department of Justice withdrew a proposal to allow police women to wear hijab in the service, as a result of much uproar, a proposal that Tajik and Astri Aas-Hansen allegedly had agreed to without consulting Storberget. The allegations were never confirmed but when the Department announced its decision, the media felt the Minister left the impression that the two women were to blame.[6] Later in 2009 she again served as an advisor for the Minister for Labour and Social Inclusion.

Member of Parliament[edit]

On 14 September 2009, Tajik was elected Member of Parliament for the Norwegian Labour Party. Representing Oslo, she was listed as candidate number six on the Labour ticket, which was considered a safe seat.[7] During her tenure in parliament, she was a member of the Standing Committee on Education, Research and Church Affairs as well as the Election committee. She has been nominated in second spot on the Oslo Labour party ballot for the Norwegian parliamentary election, 2013.[8]

Minister of Culture[edit]

On September 2012, as part of a larger cabinet reshuffle, prime minister Jens Stoltenberg announced that Tajik would become the new Minister of Culture. She replaced Anniken Huitfeldt who became the new Minister of Labour and Social affairs. At the time, she was the youngest ever to become a minister in Norway (at 29), and her appointment made her the first Muslim to serve in the Norwegian cabinet.[9][10] She is historically the second minister with non-caucasian ethnic background after Manuela Ramin-Osmundsen, who resigned as Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion in 2008.[11]


On 22 July 2011, Tajik was visiting the Workers' Youth League summer camp at Utøya together with former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. They left a few hours before Anders Behring Breivik arrived, thus narrowly avoiding the massacre.[12]

Tajik has been mentioned as a political rising star, belonging to "a new generation" of young Labour Party politicians. She has also been named as a possible future prime minister and leader of the Labour Party by Gro Harlem Brundtland[13] and political experts.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Hadia Tajik is in a relationship with Stefan Heggelund, a communications consultant and politician for the Conservative Party. They decided to make their relationship public because there was a chance they would both be elected to Parliament in the Norwegian parliamentary election, 2013.[15][16] Both Tajik and Heggelund were subsequently elected as MPs.

Tajik describes herself as a Muslim, although non-practicing, saying "I am a politician, who happens to be Muslim, but I am not a Muslim politician."[3]


  • 2001 Tajik, Hadia: Svart på Hvitt, Tiden Norsk forlag
  • 2009 Giske, Trond; Tajik, Hadia: "Hvem snakker for Bob Kåre?", i Mangfold eller enfold, Aschehoug


  1. ^ The sixth parliamentary seat
  2. ^ Buer, Kathleen (21 September 2012). "Hadia Tajik (29) blir ny Kulturminister". Abcnyheter.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Stavrum, Gunnar. "Ingen snill pike". Nettavisen (in Norwegian). Mediehuset Nettavisen. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Barstad, Lars Henie. "Tajik, Hadia". Representantene (in Norwegian). Stortinget. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Political advisor to the Minister for Labour and Social Inclusion, miss Hadia Tajik
  6. ^ Dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). 4 March 2009 http://www.dagbladet.no/2009/03/04/nyheter/innenriks/politikk/hijab/knut_storberget/5136863/ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "The sixth parliamentary seat". The Foreigner. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  8. ^ Vilde Heljesen: Marit Nybakk vant kampvoteringen NRK, 11 November 2012
  9. ^ "Radical Changes in Norway’s New Cabinet". Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Dette er den nye kulturministeren - Hadia Tajik". Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Melgård, Marie (22 September 2012). "Strategisk lurt å velge Tajik". Aftenposten.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  12. ^ NTB (25 July 2013): Skal ha ønsket å ramme Gro Harlem Brundtland (Norwegian) VG, retrieved 11 August 2013
  13. ^ Frank Ertesvåg (8 March 2013): Snart på tide med en kvinne som statsminister (Norwegian) VG, retrieved 11 August 2013
  14. ^ Nilas Johnsen, Erlend Skevik (10 August 2013): Peker på Tajik som fremtidig partileder (Norwegian) VG, retrieved 11 August 2013
  15. ^ Martine Aurdal: Hadia fant kjærligheten med Høyre-mann (in Norwegian) Dagbladet, December 1, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012
  16. ^ Storhaug, Sofia (1 December 2012). "Hadia Tajik bekrefter forhold til høyrepolitiker". Vg.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 1 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Anniken Huitfeldt
Norwegian Minister of Culture
Succeeded by
Thorhild Widvey