More than 13 per cent of Hong Kong working women are unemployed, and two-thirds of women feel they are under pressure, surveys have indicated. The findings have led to calls for more government efforts to improve women's job prospects and their social status ahead of International Working Women's Day on Friday. A Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions survey of 1,141 women members found 13.4 per cent were out of work, double the overall jobless rate of 6.7 per cent. The rate of underemployment, where workers are forced to work fewer hours than they want, was 2.2 per cent. Women's unemployment was most severe in the manufacturing sector, followed by wholesale and retail, then the catering and hotel sectors, the survey found. Among the jobless respondents, 46 per cent had been without work for at least six months. More than 37 per cent of respondents said the Government should resolve the female employment problem by creating more jobs, the survey found. About 28 per cent wanted more resources to be put into job training, and 62 per cent of those who received such training in the past 12 months felt it had been useful in helping them look for work. The survey found that 17 per cent would consider a career on the mainland, and 44 per cent supported a cap on the number of foreign domestic helpers. 'The Government should help local women to wrestle back part of the domestic helpers' market, though we prefer a policy review rather than limiting the number of foreign helpers,' union vice-chairman Chan Yuen-han said. 'There should be two different markets - one for hiring foreign domestic helpers for the purpose of providing 24-hour care to the elderly and the disabled, and the other for local ones [helpers].' Another survey by the Democratic Party found that 68 per cent of 666 women polled said they were living under pressure. The situation was more critical among working married women, with 72 per cent indicating they were under pressure. More than 40 per cent said the pressure was very great. Eighty-six per cent said the pressure came from work, 67 per cent from family finances, 45 per cent from housework and 42 per cent from spouses. More than 70 per cent of housewives said personal finances put them under the most pressure, followed by family finances, housework and their spouses. The party said a lack of financial independence was the main source of pressure for housewives, whereas working women were finding it tough juggling their time between work and family. The Confederation of Trade Unions said its recent separate survey of 714 women found their biggest worry in life was age discrimination, followed by low pay, unemployment, work pressure, and pay and benefit cuts. It said there should be laws against age discrimination, as well as the introduction of maximum working hours and a minimum wage. Labour Commissioner Pamela Tan Kam Mi-wah admitted the problem of high unemployment among women would be around for a while. 'Although the overall unemployment rate will come down in the medium to long term, it will remain at a high level for a while. Women are not exempt from it and I don't expect their situation to improve in the short term,' she said.