Less than 12 per cent of people know there is a Women's Commission and few can correctly name its functions, policies and under which bureau it operates, a survey has found. The study, released yesterday by the Polytechnic University's centre for social policy studies, found only 60 out of 510 people, or 11.8 per cent, knew of the commission, which was set up in January. Only nine people knew the commission operated under the Health and Welfare Bureau and that it advised on official policies affecting women and liaised with non-governmental organisations. But none of them knew the commission had no power to pursue complaints about alimony payments, sexual harassment and job retraining for women. Three out of four people supported setting up an alimony board to chase ex-husbands for payments, while 67 per cent believed many divorced women found it either 'difficult' or 'extremely difficult' to get alimony on time. Nearly four out of five, or 79.2 per cent, supported a paternity leave scheme, while 66 per cent believed the wage gap between men and women was widening. The centre's project associate, Lee Wai-yee, said the commission and officials should pursue an alimony board, a ban on age discrimination and the introduction of paternity leave, while also working harder to promote the commission. The Legislative Council passed a non-binding motion to set up an alimony board in 1997, but the Government has not acted on it. However, the Home Affairs Bureau recently introduced a draft to Legco to increase judges' power to order wage deductions to pay alimony. A Health and Welfare Bureau spokeswoman, commenting for the commission, said the body was only set up in January and it was not surprising many people were unaware of it. 'The commission will adopt a higher public profile this year when it hosts an open forum to discuss its work with women's groups,' she said. Legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan, of The Frontier, said many women's groups did not have high hopes for the commission because it was an advisory body ultimately serving the Secretary for Health and Welfare.