The media in Hong Kong promotes gender stereotyping, with many television shows depicting women as stay-at-home mothers and magazines displaying unrealistic ideas of female beauty, a women's rights group says. The remarks were made by the Women's Foundation after it looked at 28 pieces of research about gender stereotyping published in the last 20 years. The non-profit organisation said the media leaned towards portraying women as stay-at-home mothers and men as company executives or social leaders. The stereotypes go some way towards explaining why only 54 per cent of Hong Kong's women work, which is much lower than the 71 per cent in Britain and 67.6 per cent in the United States, the organisation said. "If you look at fashion advertisements, they use women who are extremely thin," said Su-mei Thompson, chief executive of the group. "In France, you can't use super skinny models in beauty adverts any more. It has been banned." The adverts do nothing for the self-esteem of women who see them, many of whom do not look as slim as the models in magazines, she said. Ferrick Chu Chung-man, head of policy and research at the Equal Opportunities Commission, which sponsored the foundation's work, said the commission issued teaching materials to schools in the city in 2008 advising them how to avoid gender stereotyping. "We try to tell students through the teaching materials that the media sometimes like to stereotype people in a certain way, and that they need to be aware of that," he said. Chu said he would pass on the findings of the foundation's study to the Education Bureau. Meanwhile, a study by the Women Development Association found many women were unhappy about the level of government support for those forced to juggle the responsibilities of family with a career. A survey commissioned by the association and carried out by Lingnan University's Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies asked 868 women how they would rate government support. The average score over all the respondents was 41.5 out of a possible 100. Many women complained they did not have enough time to pursue personal interests because they needed to take care of children. Some wanted more childcare centres. The Women's Foundation said it hoped to conduct its own research on gender stereotyping soon.