Debates between Baroness D'Souza and Lord Benyon during the 2019 Parliament

Gender Equality

Debate between Baroness D'Souza and Lord Benyon
Wednesday 24th January 2024

(4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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The noble Lord is absolutely right and there are some stark statistics here. But the advantage from the global perspective is that every £1 spent on contraceptive services beyond the current level would save £3 on the cost of maternal, newborn and abortion care by reducing unintended pregnancies. Over 800 women or girls die every day due to pregnancy or childbirth complications and at least 200 million women and girls alive today, living in 31 countries, have undergone female genital mutilation. These are stark statistics and underpin the determination to address this area in our bilateral aid.

Baroness D'Souza Portrait Baroness D'Souza (CB)
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My Lords, the reality is that in many areas, the Taliban’s policies are deeply antithetical to women. However, there are also persistent efforts on the part of Afghans themselves, with support from external NGOs, to evade some of the most extreme policies. I know that the Minister is sympathetic to the plight of Afghan women and girls, but can he confirm both political and financial support for the cluster education schemes that are now spreading rapidly in Afghanistan?

Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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The noble Baroness raises an area of human courage that is almost impossible to imagine—people are defying the repulsive acts of this regime by providing education in sometimes very dangerous situations. We will look at anything that helps those groups of people. Of course, she understands the difficulties we face: we cannot take action other than multilaterally and through UN resolutions, but if we can find a way of supporting those groups, we certainly will.

National Food Strategy Independent Review

Debate between Baroness D'Souza and Lord Benyon
Tuesday 20th July 2021

(2 years, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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The noble Baroness is right that this is not my ministerial responsibility, but what we are doing in Defra to encourage people to get outside, to learn outside and to enjoy the outside is really impressive. We are working with other government departments to help her ambitions come true.

Baroness D'Souza Portrait Baroness D'Souza (CB)
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My Lords, the national food strategy proposals are evidence based and are further steps towards correcting the UK’s diet, which is the worst in Europe. The Prime Minister’s dismissal of a salt and sugar tax is a political decision. Can the Minister assure the House that, in future, scientific evidence will form the basis of decisions affecting the health of the whole country?

Lord Benyon Portrait Lord Benyon (Con)
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My Lords, scientific evidence is the basis of what my department works for and through. We will certainly apply scientific and societal evidence to inform our White Paper. I assure her that that will happen across government.