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As the world grapples unevenly with the effects of COVID-19, a parallel and equally horrific pandemic has threatened half the world’s population. In the early months of the pandemic, the United Nations projected that quarantines and lockdowns could lead to a shocking 15 million additional cases of gender-based violence every three months. Sadly, those predictions appear to be coming true.

This week, world leaders and others will gather at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris and online in a massive push for gender equality. At that meeting, I will call on states, companies and individuals to join in a global initiative, with proven results, to end the fear and insecurity that threaten the health, rights, dignity and lives of so many women and girls.

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