Traditional gender roles still persist in Australian households with women performing the bulk of domestic and child-rearing tasks even if they are working, new research led by Associate Professor Lyn Craig has found.

Mothers spend six hours more each day caring for children and doing housework than fathers, with mothers often choosing to work from home or part-time as a solution to combining paid work with spending time with their children.

Dr Craig, from UNSW's Social Policy Research Centre, said the cost of child care and lack of support for working parents prevented mothers and fathers from sharing the load equally.

"We don't have much in the way of structural support for women to balance work and family, and we have virtually none that encourages sharing between men and women," she told The Sunday Telegraph.

Dr Craig has just been appointed to the newly formed NSW Premier's Expert Advisory Council on Women. She hopes to use her position to address some of the issues affecting the status of women in NSW.

"I'm delighted to be appointed to the Council," said Dr Craig. "Through my involvement I hope to advance the interests of women, particularly by bringing the results of my research on work, family and time strain to discussions on policy."

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