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No, only one of these photos shows France’s minister of education

A Facebook graphic shared in South Africa shows two photos. The first is of a young girl with a stick, possibly to herd the sheep behind her. The second is of a smartly dressed woman walking down steps in front of the French and European Union flags. 

Text beneath the photos reads: “The girl on the left is herding sheep in Morocco. The woman on the right is the same girl 20 years later, as France’s Minister of Education.”

Do both photos show France’s minister of education? We checked.

Woman is French education minister

A reverse image search shows that the woman pictured is Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, France’s first female education minister

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Vallaud-Belkacem was born in Beni Chiker in northern Morocco in 1977. She moved to France in 1982, when she was four years old.

She was appointed minister of education on 25 August 2014.

Photo of girl from 2015 UN report

A reverse image search for the photo of the girl leads to a 2015 report by the United Nations Children's Fund on children in Morocco. 

On page 26 of the report, the photo of the girl heads the section “Demographic information and statistical data on children”. There are no details about her, but the photo is credited to United Nations photographer Giacomo Pirozzi

The claim has been widely shared and debunked before. While Vallaud-Belkacem was born in Morocco, the girl pictured here is not her. – Taryn Willows


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