Newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy has reshuffled his government, appointing a Muslim woman, woman of Senegalese heritage as junior ministers, Associated Press reports. His cabinet already has Rachida Dati as a justice minister, she is of African origin.
The new cabinet which is said to be the most diverse in French history comes after Sarkozy’s conservative party did not get expected results in the parliamentary elections held last week.
Fadela Amara, daughter of Algerian immigrants is known for her work in empowering Muslim women in France. She founded “Neither a Whore nor Submissive” a group that works to improve conditions for French Muslim women living in poverty and facing violence. Amara is staunch supporter of ban on wearing Muslim head scarves in public schools. She will be working a junior minister for city policy.
Rama Yade, who is of Senegalese heritage will be working as a junior minister for human rights Just 30 years old, Yade is the rising star of Sarkozy’s conservative party. Her father is a Senegalese diplomat
Born in 1964, to a family of Algerian immigrants in Clermont-Ferrand, district, Amara at 18 established “Women’s Association for Intercommunal Exchange” to support local women develop feeling of autonomy and independent thought through community interaction. Since then she has been very active championing women’s rights, human rights and equality.
In 2002 she established “Neither a Whore nor Submissive” after a 17 year old girl, Sohane Benziane was burnt alive by a local gang leader after he had an argument with her ex boyfriend. This incident happened in a predominantly Muslim town of Vitry-sur-Seine. The culprit was sentenced to 25 years in prison and his accomplice got 8 years.
Fadela Amara organized a “women’s parliament” in 2002, which was attended by 250 people.
Born in 1974, Yade is a graduate of Institut d’études politiques. She has worked at the Paris Town Hall, French National Assembly and the French Senate.
Dati is of Moroccan and Algerian heritage. During the recent French presidential elections she served as Nicolas Sarkozy’s spokeswoman. According to Wikipedia “Rachida Dati is the first person having a non-European immigrant background and the first Muslim to enter a key ministerial position in the French Cabinet.”
Dati hold Masters Degree in public law and economic sciences. She also has an MBA.
Associated Press, Diversity push for French cabinet, URL: (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1103AP_France_Cabinet_Reshuffle.html)