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UN Women and the Loomba Foundation join forces to empower widows in three continents

A new partnership between UN Women and the Loomba Foundation will promote the empowerment of widows through global advocacy and economic empowerment projects in three countries - Guatemala, Malawi, and India.

The partnership was announced at a dinner in London organised by the Loomba Foundation and attended by Cherie Blair, President of the Loomba Foundation, and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri. Lord Raj Loomba, Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation, has been a strong advocate for the plight of widows and at the forefront of campaigning for the creation of International Widows Day, recognised by the United Nations in 2010 and to be celebrated on 23 June every year.

Ms Puri hailed the new partnership as "a great example of moving an idea into action". "Through this partnership, we will work concretely on programmes that create a visible space for widows in their societies and give them the right tools to achieve economic independence," she said.

There are an estimated 250 million widows globally. In many countries, widows are victims of multiple discrimination and exclusion. UN Women will bring its advocacy power, technical knowledge and presence on the ground to provide better economic opportunities and enhance the voices of widows.

The Loomba Foundation is a charitable organization was established by Lord Loomba CBE and his wife Veena in the UK in 1997. It promotes fundamental freedoms and human rights of widows and their children around the world, raising awareness of the gross injustices widows face and seeking to remove stigmas associated with widowhood.

Speaking at the dinner, Lord Loomba said: "I am honoured that UN Women have agreed to partner with The Loomba Foundation for the next three years, and I am looking forward to reaching a far greater number of impoverished widows as a result."

Related links:

Speech delivered by UN Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri at a charity dinner in London, England on 22 November, 2012

Speech delivered by UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet at the International Widows' Day Conference held at UN Headquarters in New York, 23 June 2011

Article originally posted on UN Women