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托福双语阅读素材:要对女性负起责任

2018年04月27日14:50 来源:小站整理
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摘要:想要提高托福阅读能力,我们一定要在日常生活中有意识地增加英语阅读量,提升语感和熟练度,这其中比较常用也比较方便地一个方式就是利用各类英文报刊杂志文章进行精读与泛读练习。下面我们来看一篇经济学人文章:要对女性负起责任

想要提高托福阅读能力,我们一定要在日常生活中有意识地增加英语阅读量,提升语感和熟练度,这其中比较常用也比较方便地一个方式就是利用各类英文报刊杂志文章进行精读与泛读练习。下面我们来看一篇经济学人文章:要对女性负起责任

托福双语阅读素材:要对女性负起责任图1

Gender budgeting

Making women count

An idea to help governments live up to their promises

性别预算

要对女性负起责任

一个帮助政府履行承诺的方法

IT IS easy to be cynical about government—and rarely does such cynicism go unrewarded. Take, for instance, policy towards women. Some politicians declare that they value women’s unique role, which can be shorthand for keeping married women at home looking after the kids. Others create whole ministries devoted to policies for women, which can be a device for parking women’s issues on the periphery of policy where they cannot do any harm. Still others, who may actually mean what they say, pass laws giving women equal opportunities to men. Yet decreeing an end to discrimination is very different from bringing it about.

对政府冷嘲热讽很容易,而且花在这方面的功夫很少会白费。以针对女性的政策为例。有些政客宣称自己重视女性独一无二的角色,简言之,就是让已婚女性在家带孩子。其他一些政客专门为制定女性政策成立了完整的部门,这么做可将女性问题推到大政方针的边缘搁置起来,如此便不会招来任何麻烦。还有一些人或许可算真心诚意,他们通过了法律,给予女性和男性同等的机会。然而,歧视的产生可不是颁布政令就可以终止的。

Amid this tangle of evasion, half-promises and wishful thinking, some policymakers have embraced a technique called gender budgeting. It not only promises to do a lot of good for women, but carries a lesson for advocates of any cause: the way to a government’s heart is through its pocket.

在这一片闪烁其词、虚与委蛇以及一厢情愿构成的纷乱之中,一些政策制定者欣然采纳了一个名为性别预算的方法。不仅女性有可能因此得到莫大的好处,为实现任何其他目标而努力奔走的人也可得到启发:要抓住政府的心,就得把手伸进它的钱袋子里。

What counts is what’s counted

At its simplest, gender budgeting sets out to quantify how policies affect women and men differently. That seemingly trivial step converts exhortation about treating women fairly into the coin of government: costs and benefits, and investments and returns. You don’t have to be a feminist to recognise, as Austria did, that the numbers show how lowering income tax on second earners will encourage women to join the labour force, boosting growth and tax revenues. Or that cuts to programmes designed to reduce domestic violence would be a false economy, because they would cost so much in medical treatment and lost workdays.

被计数的才作数

简单来说,性别预算的目的在于量化各种政策对女性和男性的不同影响。这一看似无关紧要的步骤却可将公平对待女性的殷切劝导转变为政府的财务考量:成本与收益,投资与回报。一个人即使不是女权主义者,也能和奥地利那样,承认有数据显示降低伴侣中收入较低者的所得税会鼓励女性就业,从而刺激增长并增加税收;或者,削减对减少家暴项目的投入看似会省钱,实际上却得不偿失,因为这会导致大笔的医疗支出,还会耽误工作。

As well as identifying opportunities and errors, gender budgeting brings women’s issues right to the heart of government, the ministry of finance. Governments routinely bat away sensible policies that lack a champion when the money is handed out. But if judgments about what makes sense for women (and the general good) are being formed within the finance ministry itself, then the battle is half-won.

除了识别机遇与失误,性别预算还会将女性问题直接带至政府的核心部门:财政部。政府在拨款时历来都对那些缺少强力支持者的明智政策不予理会。但怎样做才符合女性利益(也会符合社会整体利益)的判断如果是在财政部内部做出,那么就已取得了一半的胜利。

Gender budgeting is not new. Feminist economists have argued for it since the 1980s. A few countries, such as Australia and South Africa, took it up, though efforts waxed and waned with shifts in political leadership—it is seen as left-wing and anti-austerity. The Nordic countries were pioneers in the West; Sweden, with its self-declared “feminist government”, may be the gold standard. Now, egged on by the World Bank, the UN and the IMF, more governments are taking an interest. They should sign on as the results are worth having.

性别预算并不是新鲜事物。女权主义经济学家自上世纪80年代以来就在为之呼号。一些国家例如澳大利亚和南非等已采纳这种方法,不过为之付出的努力因权力更迭而遭遇起伏——性别预算被视为一种左派和反紧缩的行为。在西方,北欧国家是这方面的先行者,其中自诩“女权主义政府”的瑞典也许堪称典范。在世界银行、联合国以及国际货币基金组织的鼓动下,如今已有更多的政府对性别预算产生了兴趣。它们确实应该参与到这一实践中,因为它带来的成果会非常值得。

Partly because South Korea invested little in social care, women had to choose between having children, which lowers labour-force participation, or remaining childless, which reduces the country’s fertility rate. Gender budgeting showed how, with an ageing population, the country gained from spending on care. Rwanda found that investment in clean water not only curbed disease but also freed up girls, who used to fetch the stuff, to go to school. Ample research confirms that leaving half a country’s people behind is bad for growth. Violence against women; failing to educate girls properly; unequal pay and access to jobs: all take an economic toll.

从前,某种程度上因韩国在社会照护方面投入甚少,该国女性不得不在生与不生孩子之间做选择;前者会降低劳动力参与度,后者则会降低国家的生育率。性别预算表明,这个人口日趋老龄化的国家因对社会关怀的投入而获益。卢旺达政府发现,投资于洁净水不仅可以遏制疾病,还可将女孩们从取水的劳动中解放出来,让她们去上学。有充足的研究证实,不顾任何一国的一半人口、将她们抛诸脑后,都会对经济增长产生负面影响。女性遭受暴力对待、女孩未能获得像样的教育、薪酬与工作机会不均等——这些问题都会造成经济损失。

Inevitably there are difficulties. Dividing a policy’s costs and benefits between men and women can be hard. Sometimes, as with lost hours of school, the costs have to be estimated. Redesigning the budgeting process upends decades of practice. If every group pressing for change took the same approach, it would become unmanageable. In a way, though, that is the point. Governments find it easy to pay lip-service to women’s rights. Doing something demands tough choices.

困难在所难免。将一项政策的成本与收益依据性别分别计算会是一道难题。有时,类似耽误上学这样的情况要付出多大的代价,只能估算出个大概。重新设计预算流程也会颠覆已执行数十年的实践。如果每一个积极寻求改变的团体都采用了这样的手段,情形就会变得难以驾驭。不过,在某种程度上,这也是意义所在。因为对政府来说,面对女性权益问题时开开空头支票太容易了。要成就某些事,就必须要做出艰难的抉择。

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