Najat Vallaud-Belkacem

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Najat Vallaud-Belkacem
Portrait Najat Vallaud-Belkacem-crop.jpg
Minister of Women's Rights
In office
16 May 2012 – 25 August 2014
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Manuel Valls
Preceded by Catherine Vautrin
Government's spokesperson
Assumed office
16 May 2012
President François Hollande
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Manuel Valls
Preceded by Valérie Pécresse
Succeeded by Stéphane Le Foll
Conseillère générale of the Rhône department
Assumed office
16 March 2008
Personal details
Born (1977-10-04) 4 October 1977 (age 36)
Bni Chiker, Nador province, Morocco
Nationality Flag of Morocco.svg Moroccan
Flag of France.svg French
Spouse(s) Boris Vallaud
Religion Muslim

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (born Najat Belkacem on 4 October 1977) is a French-Moroccan[1] socialist politician, who on 16 May 2012 was appointed Minister of Women's Rights and Government spokesperson in the Ayrault government.

She was the spokesperson of Ségolène Royal's campaign during the 2007 French presidential election and again in 2009 for the 2011 French Socialist Party presidential primary. Since 2008, she has been a councillor of the city of Lyon, responsible for major events, youth and community life.


Second in a family of seven children, Najat Belkacem was born in the Moroccan countryside in 1977 in Bni Chiker, a village near Nador in the Rif region. In 1982 she rejoined her father, a building worker, with her mother and elder sister Fatiha, and grew up in the suburbs of Amiens.[2] She graduated from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies) in 2002. At the Institut she met Boris Vallaud, whom she married on 27 August 2005.[3]

She joined the Socialist Party in 2002 and joined the team of Gérard Collomb, Mayor of Lyon, in 2003 leading actions to strengthen local democracy, the fight against discrimination, promotion of citizen rights, and access to employment and housing.

Elected to the Regional Council of Rhone-Alpes in 2004, she chaired the Culture Commission, resigning in 2008. In 2005, she became adviser to the Socialist Party. In 2005 and 2006 she was a columnist for the cultural programme C'est tout vu on Télé Lyon Municipale alongside Stéphane Cayrol.

In February 2007 she joined Ségolène Royal's campaign team as a spokesperson, alongside Vincent Peillon and Arnaud Montebourg.

In March 2008 she was elected conseillère générale of the Rhône department in the cantonal elections with 58.52% of the votes in the second round, under the banner of the Socialist Party in the canton of Lyon-XIII.

On 16 May 2012, she was appointed to French President François Hollande's cabinet as Minister of Women's Rights and spokesperson for the government.

She supports having the French government force Twitter to filter out hate speech that is illegal under French law, such as speech that is homophobic.[4] Regarding same-sex marriage in France, she has stated that its legalisation is a matter of "historic progress".[5]

She describes herself as a "non-practising Muslim".[6]


  1. ^ "Vallaud-Belkacem attaquée sur sa double nationalité". 12 May 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Jacques Bertoin, "Najat Belkacem, la vie en rose",, 18.
  3. ^ See "Le mari de Najat Belkacem rejoint Arnaud Montebourg" in Lyonmag, 14.
  4. ^ Farago, Jason (2 January 2013). "In praise of Vallaud-Belkacem, or why not to tolerate hate speech on Twitter". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  5. ^ France and gay marriage: Pink pride in Paris
  6. ^ "Muslim Minister in French Government Calls for Twitter to Censor Tweets that Don't Respect Human Rights". Retrieved 24 January 2013.