Rama Yade

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Rama Yade
UMP meeting Paris regional elections 2010-03-17 n11.jpg
Rama Yade in 2010
Regional Advisor of Île-de-France
Assumed office
21 March 2010
Ambassador of France to UNESCO
In office
22 December 2010 – 30 June 2011
Preceded byCatherine Colonna
Succeeded byDaniel Rondeau
Secretary of State for Sports
In office
23 June 2009 – 13 November 2010
PresidentNicolas Sarkozy
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon II
Preceded byBernard Laporte
Succeeded byChantal Jouanno
(Minister for Sport)
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights
In office
19 June 2007 – 23 June 2009
PresidentNicolas Sarkozy
Prime MinisterFrançois Fillon II
Preceded byLucette Michaux-Chevry
Succeeded byNone (Position abolished)
Personal details
Born (1976-12-13) 13 December 1976 (age 42)
Ouakam, Dakar, Senegal
Political partyUnion for a Popular Movement (2005–2012)
Radical Party (2012–2015)
New Centre (2012–2015)
Spouse(s)Joseph Zimet
ResidenceBournard Street, 92700 Colombes, Paris, France[1]
Alma materSciences-Po Paris

Rama Yade (born Mame Ramatoulaye Yade; 13 December 1976) is a Senegalese-born French politician and the author of several books. She served as the French Secretary of Human Rights from 2007 to 2009, and the Secretary of Sports from 2009 to 2010. She was the Permanent Delegate of France to UNESCO from December 2010 to June 2011. She held the vice-presidency of the centre-right Radical Party up until 25 September 2015.[3] She announced her candidacy in the 2017 French presidential election, but was unable to catch enough signatures to be a participant in the presidential race.[4][5] Her campaign was aimed at "the forgotten people" of France.[6]


Early life[edit]

Yade was born in Ouakam, Dakar, Senegal.[2] She comes from an educated, upper-middle-class, Lebou family. Her mother, Aminata Kandji, was a professor and her father, Djibril Yade, also a professor, was the personal secretary of Senegalese President Léopold Sédar Senghor and a diplomat.[2] She moved to France with the rest of her family at the age of eight.[2] After her father left the country when she was fourteen, she moved into a council flat in Colombes with her mother and three sisters.[2] She was educated in Catholic schools and then at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, where she graduated in 2000.[2]

Early career[edit]

Rama Yade, May 2007

Yade worked at the Paris city hall and the National Assembly. She also worked for The Greens.[2] She later became an administrator in the Senate in 2002.[2] She joined the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) political party in 2005 and became National Secretary in charge of Francophonie in 2006. She credits Nicolas Sarkozy's charisma with making her want to join the UMP.[2]

Governmental appointments[edit]

In May 2007, she was appointed as Secretary of State for Human Rights under the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner. She denounced Muammar Gaddafi's state visit to France in 2008 due to the track record of his human rights abuse.[2]

In November 2008, Yade was rumoured to be Nicolas Sarkozy's favorite choice for replacing Jean-Pierre Jouyet as Secretary of State for European Affairs, and was also privately asked to lead one of the UMP lists for the 2009 European Parliament elections. However, on 7 December, she declined to run for a seat in the European Parliament and declared herself "more interested in national mandate".[7] On 9 December, Le Monde reported that Nicolas Sarkozy was "deeply disappointed" by her attitude and that she had "ruined all her chances" to succeed Jouyet.[8] The following day, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, in an interview with Le Parisien, said he regretted his suggestion to appoint a Secretary of State for Human Rights, although he noted that Yade had "done, with talent, what she could do".[9] She had at the time the highest approval rating in the French government, with over 70%.[10]

She was moved to the post of Secretary of State for Sports on 24 June 2009. Some interpreted this as a demotion in connection with Sarkozy's disapproval of her decision to not stand in the European elections.[11] In 2010, she criticised the French national football team for staying in expensive hotels during the 2008–2012 global recession.[12]

She was appointed as French Ambassador to the UNESCO in December 2010.[13] By April 2011, it was rumoured that she would be fired.[14] She quit her job in June 2011.[15][16][17]

Radical Party[edit]

In 2012, she left the UMP, joined the Radical Party and supported Jean-Louis Borloo in the presidential elections until he decided not to run.[15][17][18] She later supported Nicolas Sarkozy, but joined the New Centre.[18][19] She serves as President of the Allons Enfants! think tank.[20]

Parliamentary elections[edit]

She ran and lost in the 2012 parliamentary elections for the National Assembly of France.[18][21][22] She now works for a human resources firm based in Paris, Cursus Management.[23][24]

Political positions[edit]

Rama Yade is moderate-conservative and a feminist.[25]

Affirmative action[edit]

She favors affirmative action.[26]


In 2009, she said that she was not opposed to ban on burqas in France. Rama believes that this ban should be decided "as a defense of secularism and the dignity of women" and calls on Muslims to "leave the literal text behind, and adjust to the times".[27] In 2010, she called for a referendum on banning the full veil burqas in France, in order to circumvent any legal obstacles.[28]

LGBT rights[edit]

As Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights of France, Yade met with several LGBT organizations on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia in 2008 and announced to the organizations that henceforth the government officially recognized that day.[29] She announced that she would appeal to the United Nations for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality, and asked, "How can we tolerate the fact that people are stoned, hanged, decapitated and tortured only because of their sexual orientation?"[30] When asked about the issue of same-sex marriage in 2009, she replied that it was not up to her to settle the question for society.[31]

When she became Secretary of State for Sports, she fought against homophobia in sports and participated in the third FARE Conference Against Homophobia in Paris in 2011.[32]

In a June 2011 interview she said she would have voted for same-sex marriage if she had been in the National Assembly.[33] In a 2012 interview with Le Parisien, she said, "To societal issues like this or gay marriage, it is legitimate to propose a referendum. We'll see if the left will have the courage to give voice to the people."[34] She said in 2013 interview that her support for same-sex marriage was consistent with her fight on equal rights and claimed that she had been designated as the most gay-friendly member of the government.[35] On 1 February Rama Yade had signed with MP Yves Jégo, Jean-Christophe Lagarde, Senator Chantal Jouanno, an article in Le Monde in favor of gay marriage in the name of equality.[36][37]

Foreign vote[edit]

When asked about the issue of foreign vote, Yade said it should be left to a referendum and said she was against it and said "Foreigners do not claim the right to vote. What they want is their children who are French, are elected to the Assembly, are well represented in the political, economic spheres media. In short, they are integrated. Now this is the bad conscience of the left for thirty years."[34]

Syrian Civil War[edit]

On the issue of the civil war in Syria, she said France must act and use the military option because the Syrians requested it.[34]


On the issue of taxes, Yade has said "We're losing the rich, like Gérard Depardieu, and the poor feel betrayed," referring to workers at factories expected to close down. "France is the one getting weakened, and its future is being sold off cheaply," she said.[3]


In April 2013, she was convicted for libeling and slandering Manuel Aeschlimann.[38]

In September 2013, she was sentenced to pay a 2000 euro fine and 4000 euros in damages for libeling her political rival Philippe Sarre.[39]

In January 2014, she was again convicted for slandering Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine Le Pen.[40]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Joseph Zimet, the son of Yiddish singer Ben Zimet, and an adviser to former Secretary of State Jean-Marie Bockel.[2] She is a Muslim[2] and a feminist.[25]


  • Yade, Rama (2007). Noirs de France. Paris: Calmann-Lévy. ISBN 9782702137611. OCLC 777938838.
  • Yade, Rama (2008). Les droits de l'homme expliqués aux enfants de 7 à 77 ans. Paris: Editions du Seuil. ISBN 9782020988292. OCLC 425659228.
  • Yade, Rama (2010). Lettre à la jeunesse. Paris: Bernard Grasset. ISBN 9782246783503. OCLC 758820242.
  • Yade, Rama (2011). Plaidoyer pour une instruction publique. Paris: Bernard Grasset. ISBN 9782246794776. OCLC 780310918.
  • Yade, Rama (2014). Carnets du pouvoir 2006-2013. Paris: Les Éditions du Moment. ISBN 9782354173265. OCLC 899382315.
  • Yade, Rama (2015). Anthologie regrettable du machisme en politique. Paris: Éditions du Moment. ISBN 9782354173906. OCLC 911259855.
  • Yade, Rama (2016). À l'instant de basculer. Paris: Les Éditions du Net. ISBN 9782312049373.


  1. ^ ournard Street, 92700 Colombes
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Rama Yade: The political star who's eclipsing Sarko, The Independent, 14 April 2009
  3. ^ a b "Gérard Depardieu to return French passport" (Press release). The Telegraph. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Rama Yade candidate à l'élection présidentielle de 2017". L'Express. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Rama Yade: "On n'a pas attrapé la lune mais on a touché les étoiles.Merci aux élus et à ceux qui se sont démenés pendant ces 8 mois pour m'aider"". Twitter. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  6. ^ "4 Vérités - Rama Yade veut représenter "la France des oubliés"". France TV Info. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Rama Yade annonce qu'elle n'est pas candidate à un mandat européen". AFP, 2008-12-08
  8. ^ "Nicolas Sarkozy exclut de nommer Rama Yade aux affaires européennes. Le Monde, 200-12-09
  9. ^ Bernard Kouchner: "" J'ai eu tort de demander un secrétariat d'État aux Droits de l'homme "". Le Parisien, 2008-12-10.
  10. ^ Rama Yade: The political star who's eclipsing Sarko The Independent. 14 April 2009
  11. ^ Emma Charlton and Carole Landry, "Sarkozy shakes up cabinet", AFP, 23 June 2009.
  12. ^ France World Cup hotel 'too flashy' says junior sports minister, The Guardian, 6 June 2010
  13. ^ Rama Yade nommée ambassadrice à l'Unesco, Le Monde, 22 December 2010
  14. ^ Jim Jarrasse, Rama Yade : «J'existerai après l'Unesco», Le Figaro, 22 April 2011
  15. ^ a b Rama Yade quitte son poste d'ambassadrice à l'Unesco, Le Figaro,
  16. ^ Rama Yade coupe le cordon de la sarkozie, Le Point, 16 June 2011
  17. ^ a b Sarkozy's UNESCO envoy Rama Yade backs rival's campaign, The Australian, 16 June 2011
  18. ^ a b c Laureline Dupont, La girouette Rama Yade n'est pas à une contradiction près, Marianne, 11 June 2012
  19. ^ Raphael Stainville, Les orphelins de Borloo, Le Figaro, 8 October 2011
  20. ^ Allons Enfants! official website
  21. ^ Législatives : Rama Yade éliminée au premier tour, Le Monde, 11 June 2012
  22. ^ Justine Chevalier, Rama Yade éliminée, Le Parisien, 11 June 2012
  23. ^ Anne Rovan, [1], Le Figaro, 4 November 2011
  24. ^ Rama Yade devient chargée de mission dans le privé , Elle, 9 November 2011
  25. ^ a b "Conservative black women bring fresh perspectives to feminism" (Press release). The Giro. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  26. ^ "I embody everything that politicians are not:. Female, young, black and Muslim" (Press release). linternaute.com. March 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  27. ^ "Rama Yade is not opposed to the law banning the burqa" (Press release). Elle. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  28. ^ "Sailing: Yade advocates a referendum to circumvent legal obstacles" (Press release). Google. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  29. ^ "Meeting of Mrs. Rama Yade with Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transsexual (LGBT) organisations" (Press release). http://nottoomuch.com. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2013. External link in |publisher= (help)
  30. ^ "In a First, Gay Rights Are Pressed at the U.N." (Press release). The New York Times. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  31. ^ "Rama Yade Gay marriage? Maybe tomorrow ..." (Press release) (in French). linternaute.com. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  32. ^ "French State Secretary for Sport Rama Yade confirms her commitments towards the fight against homophobia in sport" (Press release). Fare Network. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  33. ^ Rama Yade: "I would have voted for gay marriage"
  34. ^ a b c "Rama Yade: «L'hypocrisie sur le vote des étrangers me choque»" [Rama Yade: "The hypocrisy of voting foreign shocks me"] (in French). Le Parisien. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  35. ^ "Mariage gay: "Une évolution naturelle", selon Rama Yade" [Gay Marriage: "A natural evolution," according to Rama Yade] (in French). My TFI News. 18 January 2013. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  36. ^ "EN DIRECT. Mariage gay: suivez les débats à l'Assemblée nationale" [LIVE: Gay marriage: debate in the National Assembly] (in French). L'Express. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  37. ^ "Disons oui au mariage gay" [Say yes to gay marriage] (in French). Le Monde. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  38. ^ Rama Yade condamnée pour diffamation et injure, LCI, 25 April 2013.
  39. ^ « Rama Yade de nouveau condamnée pour diffamation », in liberation.fr, 4 December 2013.
  40. ^ Rama Yade condamnée pour avoir injurié Marine et Jean-Marie Le Pen, Le Point, 24 January 2014.

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