The first Muslim member of the Norwegian cabinet, Hadia Tajik was born on 18 July 1983 in the village of Bjorheimsbygd in Strand, Rogaland, Norway to shopkeeper M. Sarwar Tajik and mother Safia Qizilbash who emigrated
The first Muslim member of the Norwegian cabinet, Hadia Tajik was born on 18 July 1983 in the village of Bjørheimsbygd in Strand, Rogaland, Norway to shopkeeper M. Sarwar Tajik and mother Safia Qizilbash who emigrated from Pakistan in the early 1970s. Hadia is a lawyer, journalist and politician.
After completing Bjørheimsbygd elementary school as one of only seven pupils, she attended Tau junior high school between 1996 and 1998 and later Strand Senior high school from 1998 to 2001. She studied human rights at Kingston University in England from 2004 to 2005, she has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stavanger University College and studied law at the University of Oslo receiving her Master of Law degree in 2012.
Hadia Tajik has been handed Culture portfolio by the Prime Minister as she became the youngest ever cabinet member to be part of the Norwegian cabinet. The newly elected minister said that in future, multicultural values will become a part of Norway’s everyday life. Tajik, of Pakistani origin, was elected as a member of the Norwegian parliament in 2009.
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 political advisor to the Minister of Justice, Knut Storberget, from 2008 to 2009. While serving under Storberget, she became involved in the hijab-affair when the Department of Justice withdrew a decision to allow police women to wear hijab in the service. Previously she held the position of advisor to the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (in 2009) and the Minister for Labour and Social Inclusion, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen (2006 to 2008).
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. 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. On 19 September 2012 she announced her intention to run for re-election for Oslo.
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 ever Muslim to serve in the Norwegian cabinet.