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Oct 23, 2023 / 15:43

Stéphanie Do makes it to French Parliament

Stéphanie Do arrived in France at 11 and spoke no French. Yet she became a member of the National Assembly of 68 million citizens and is an example of those who dare to take on challenges.

"Born in Vietnam, Stéphanie Do came to France at the age of 11, knowing no French, and a few years later became a member of the National Assembly of 68 million citizens. She reached her position through perseverance, determination, and service to others. Nothing can shake her resolve."

These were the words of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, to Stéphanie Do, the first female parliamentarian of Vietnamese origin in France.

Stéphanie Do's story not only inspired the French people when she was elected to the French National Assembly for the 2017-2022 term but also greatly motivated her fellow Vietnamese.

Studying to integrate

Stéphanie Do was born in 1979 in Ho Chi Minh City. Her great-grandfather was the intellectual Do Quang Dau (1863-1937). Because of his great contributions to literature and education, a street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, was named after him.

 Stéphanie Do is the first Franco-Vietnamese member of parliament.

Her family came to France in 1991 thanks to the family reunification program, as Stéphanie's grandparents were living in France at the time.

They left all their possessions in their hometown and came to France with nothing. It took Stéphanie Do a long time to learn French and assimilate.

She made friends with students in the same situation from Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, among others. They shared affection and solidarity. Her sincere friendship and her father's guidance helped her a lot in her studies.

"I am a person thirsty for knowledge. In my family, everyone is like that. I understand how different it is when I can't talk to anyone on the street. At the age of 11, I threw myself into my studies. Studying became a passion and a challenge for me," Stéphanie recalls.

The little girl set herself the goal of excelling in all subjects. She often studied until 2 or 3 a.m. to quickly master French, which was the foundation for learning other subjects well. It did not take long for Stéphanie to become one of the top students in her class.

She graduated from the prestigious École Nationale d'Administration - the school of President Macron and many French presidents and prime ministers.

Road to National Assembly

Stéphanie Do likes to think of herself as someone who likes to be challenged. She does not stay in her comfort zone but will always find ways to experience new things. She believes every day that goes by without learning something is wasted.

With this in mind, Stéphanie began to pay attention to politics and gradually became the director of the finance and accounting project at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, where Macron served as minister.

 Stéphanie Do and a French voter.

By attending meetings and listening to Emmanuel Macron's aspirations, Stéphanie realized that she had similar thoughts and visions to the minister. She joined the En Marche (Forward) movement out of a desire to contribute to France, not political ambition.

In the beginning, En Marche was just about connecting with people, listening to what they wanted, and then finding solutions to the problems they raised.

"If this is called politics, then I can do it," Stéphanie told herself, not knowing that she would be increasingly fascinated and drawn into this field until Macron became the official candidate for the presidential election.

At that time, the Renaissance Party (La République en Marche) needed female deputies for the National Assembly, and Stéphanie Do was encouraged to run.

"I was 'on board' from the beginning of the adventure and clearly understood the core values of Macron's action program. I ran for office without thinking about the consequences, just thinking that I was showing solidarity with my companions," Stéphanie recalled.

Stéphanie faced many challenges, not only because she was an immigrant, but also she was new to politics.

However, her own aspirations and the support of her family became a great motivation for her to "go forward."

On June 18, 2017, she was elected to the French Parliament to represent the Seine-et-Marne region, becoming the first Asian woman to be elected to the French National Assembly.

Since becoming a member of parliament, she has held many important positions, such as President of the Franco-Vietnamese Friendship Delegation in the French National Assembly and Secretary for the Economy of the Francophone Union. She accompanied Prime Minister Édouard Philippe on his official visit to Vietnam in November 2018.

 She was born into a family of intellectuals in Ho Chi Minh City.

By questioning the government and participating in amending a number of French laws, Stephanie Do wants to show responsibility to her constituents. With the Vietnamese community in France, she is willing to meet and accept invitations to participate in all activities to promote culture, diplomacy, trade, and especially to strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to French President Emmanuel Macron, Stéphanie Do has never shied away from her duties and has always worked to strengthen relations between France and Vietnam. She also strives to protect French citizens in the fight against Covid-19 with the role of a parliamentarian who is always on the front line. With great determination, she has carried out every task to deserve her position.

Stéphanie never thought of telling her story, but the encouragement of her relatives and friends made her feel responsible to, as she put it, "inspire all young people who are interested in politics and want to become future politicians."

That's why she published The Road to the National Assembly of the First French-Vietnamese Female Parliamentarian with the message: "Please join me in entering a realm full of will, determination, hard work, and challenges."

 Vietnamese-French parliamentarian Stephanie Do and French Ambassador to Vietnam Olivier Brochet at the book launch.