| Updated at: 0904 PST, Thursday, October 14, 2010|
UNITED NATIONS: More than a third of all women in the world have been forced into sex, beaten or abused by a partner or family member, a top UN official.
Zou Xiaoqaio, vice-chairwoman of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women said that sexual violence was increasing around the world despite major campaigns by the UN and other bodies.
Zou said that not enough of the 186 countries which have signed the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) had implemented it to give effective help to women.
"At least one every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way, usually by an intimate partner or family member," Zou told a press conference at the UN headquarters, quoting a new report by the UN Population Fund.
"Women continue to be raped and subject to other forms of sexual violence with impunity all over the world," she said, highlighting how, in some countries, rape charges against an offender can be dropped if he marries the victim.
"Women and girls are still being sold for sex around the world. Two million girls between the ages of five and 15 are introduced into the commercial sex market each year."
The United States, Iran and Sudan are among six countries that have not yet signed the 1979 convention, Zou said.