Plans to create a post to handle women's affairs have been withdrawn following criticism that it did not have a high enough status. Officials had proposed creating a principal assistant secretary at staff grade C in the Health and Welfare Bureau to work on the affairs of the proposed Women's Commission. But women's groups had sharply criticised the post for having too low a status in the hierarchy. Legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing of The Frontier said Secretary for Health and Welfare Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong told her on Monday that the Government had decided to withdraw the proposal. Ms Lau said she had suggested that the setting up of the commission should first be discussed by legislators. 'The Government should not put the cart before the horse,' she said. Her Frontier colleague Cyd Ho Sau-lan will propose a motion on the setting up of the commission in Legco today. Ms Lau said it was not appropriate for the Women's Commission to be subordinate to the Health and Welfare Bureau, as women's affairs related to many aspects, including employment, education and security. The chairwoman of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Anna Wu Hung-yuk, said the post should be of a high enough standing to oversee gender issues in all government policy. She said that if the Government insisted on placing the commission within the Health and Welfare Bureau, Dr Yeoh should carry a concurrent title of secretary for women's affairs. It would ensure the commission had a high enough level to formulate women's policies. Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang announced the decision to form the commission at a women's conference last month. The Women's Coalition of Equal Opportunity, comprising 21 groups, cast doubt on the plans given the lack of public consultation. The Equal Opportunities Commission is to hold training courses for civil servants on equal rights, chairwoman Ms Wu said. She said the civil service would be more effective if staff were more sensitive to the issue of equal opportunities.