Lord Loomba takes part in debate on the forthcoming Commonwealth summit

New Delhi: Lord Loomba, Founder and Chairman Trustee, The Loomba Foundation, describing the poverty, destitution and human rights abuses that many widows in the developing world face, asked the Minster, Lord Agnew, “what strategies the Government can form to help the most impoverished and disadvantaged women and girls, including widows?” during a debate on the Commonwealth in the House of Lords on Thursday, 2nd November. Elucidating his question, Lord Loomba emphasised how good strategies can help women and girls, including widows “so that they are empowered, able to earn money, become self-reliant and lead a life of dignity” and also, “so that their children are educated, provided with skills training to enable them to get jobs or start their own business, gain economic independence and break the shackles of poverty.”
Welcoming the Government’s aims for a summit that espouses “A Fairer Future” that cover[s] “the democratic principles that emphasise the importance of good governance, human rights and the rule of law …,” Lord Loomba said: “These are primary principles on which we should all strive to build better lives for all citizens regardless of their country of origin, their gender, religion or social status.” Adding to his point, Lord Loomba stressed: “Certainly, with an estimated population of nearly one-third of the world’s total population, the Commonwealth is well placed to act as a global player and catalyst for change.”
Concentrating on “the women’s forum,” which, he said: ” is very close to my heart,” Lord Loomba said: “I hope that the issue of modern slavery will be high on the agenda for the women’s forum, as it affects so many women in so many countries.” “It is imperative,” he further added, “that we start to ensure that countries and societies are well placed to root out this evil and stop it from taking hold and devastating the lives of innocent and vulnerable women.” Pointing out how widows, who face “double-discrimination” are “even more burdened, discriminated against and lacking opportunities,” Lord Loomba said they are often vulnerable to modern-day slavery due to their dire circumstances. Citing the Loomba Foundation’s World Widows Report, which shows that there are over 258 million widows around the world, many living in destitution Lord Loomba noted that solving the issues of so many vulnerable widows will go a long way to achieving the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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