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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第2章 社会文化类 Unit 27

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2019年01月09日

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In both rich and poor countries,poverty most often has a feminine face.It is bad enough in America: according to the Census Bureau 14.1% of women live in poverty,compared with 11.1% of men.In the developing world,the situation is much worse.By some estimates 70% of the world's poor are women and the depth of their deprivation,which often involves subsisting on less than $2 a day,makes American poverty look positively benign. 
The World Bank would like this to change.Late in February,together with the OECD and several European governments,it convened a conference in Berlin on increasing the economic power of women.The bank reckons that restricting women's participation in the economy is not merely unfair,but bad economics.To put matters right it has released a“Gender Action Plan”,which calls for better data and a harder push for World Bank schemes that seek to move women into the economic mainstream. 
Currently,the World Bank says that women earn an average of 22% less than men,and have much less access to credit; in Africa,for example,they receive just 1% of the credit going to the agricultural sector.Changing this could have an enormous impact on deprivation around the world.This is why Grameen Bank,among other poverty-fighting institutions,has chosen to focus its efforts on women.Almost all of its borrowers are women,and the micro-lender tries to ensure that its loans raise the economic status of women within their families by ensuring,for example,that ownership of houses built with Grameen loans staying with the women. 
There is also evidence that giving women more financial power fosters economic development.Where men control most of the finances,it is more likely that households will distribute what they have unequally between male and female children,leaving the female family members with insufficient resources to meet basic needs.This,in turn,can hinder development of both mind and body.Giving women economic power can significantly alter decision-making in ways that improve general welfare.Households where women contribute a significant portion of the revenue spend more money on food and childcare and less on alcohol and tobacco. 
But the World Bank may have cause and effect reversed.Does liberating women promote economic growth or does economic growth spur women's liberation? In an economy where adding economic value involves muscle power,women are bound to be paid less,and valued less,than men even before the effects of childbirth and childcare are taken into account.And in most societies,lower economic value translates into reduced social and political status. 
The experience of developed countries certainly seems to indicate that economic growth is profoundly liberating for women.As the value of brute force falls opportunities in the labour market for women grow.Modern contraceptives,and labour-saving appliances,make it easier for them to take paid work.And with that comes economic and political power.There is a strong argument that women's liberation movement owes less to the“feminine mystique” than to the dishwashers and washing machines that reduced household drudgery.If so the bank would do better to concentrate on spurring economic growth rather than fretting about gender. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2004年真题Text 1。 
1.Why does the author claim that poverty has a feminine face? 
A) Because it is a global phenomenon that women are in general poorer than men. 
B) Because most of the world's poorest people are women who are unable to sustain themselves. 
C) Because there is a higher concentration of women in poverty than men. 
D) Because it is a common practice around the world that women are paid less than men. 
2.Which of the following is NOT the opinion of the World Bank? 
A) Changing American poverty situation does not fall into the World Bank's consideration. 
B) Raising women's economic status is not only a political issue,but is desirable in terms of sheer economic concern. 
C) Women should be entitled to access more credit and that is going to change the world. 
D) Giving women more economic power is good for families in the micro perspective. 
3.The expression“translates into” (Line 5,Paragraph 5)most probably means _______. 
A) turning one language into another 
B) transforming into 
C) transfering to 
D) leading to 
4.What is the author's attitude towards the World Bank's interpretation of female poverty? 
A) Reserved consent. 
B) Strong disapproval. 
C) Slight contempt. 
D) Enthusiastic support. 
5.Which of the following is TRUE according to the text? 
A) Poverty in America is of the similar condition as that of the rest of the world. 
B) Female children and male children usually receive equal attention in households. 
C) To raise women's economic status,it is important to liberate them from housework. 
D) Grameen Bank only deals with small-loan businesses. 

不论在发达国家还是贫穷国家,贫穷总带着女性的面具。这个问题在美国已经够严重的了:根据人口调查局统计,14.1%的妇女生活在贫困中,相比却只有11.1%的男人生活贫困。但在发展中国家,这一情况就更糟糕了。据估计,世界70%的穷人是女性,她们通常依靠每日不足2美元的费用生活,相比之下,美国国内所谓的贫困就显得没那么严重了。 
世界银行希望改变这一现状,并于二月底与经济合作与发展组织及欧洲部分国家的政府携手,在柏林召开了一次关于加强妇女的经济实力的会议。世界银行认为限制妇女参与经济不仅对妇女不公平,在经济学上看来也非常不利。为扭转这一现象,会议发表了一项“性别行为草案”,呼吁搜集更好的资料,并更加积极地推动世界银行争取使妇女踏入经济主流地位的方案。 
目前,世界银行称,妇女平均比男人少赚22%,且贷款能力也更加有限;比如在非洲,妇女仅获取了农用贷款的1%。改变这一现状将对世界范围内的妇女受剥夺状况产生巨大的影响。因此孟加拉的格莱明银行同其他努力减少贫困的组织一道,决定集中力量关注妇女。该银行的贷款人大部分是女性,小额贷款通过诸如担保贷款建房的房屋所有权归妇女等措施,试图确保其贷款能提高女性在家庭中的经济地位。 
有证据表明,赋予女性财政权力能够促进经济发展。当男人掌控大部分财政时,家庭支出更有可能在男孩和女孩间分配不均,导致家庭女性成员得不到维持基本生活需要的资源。这会阻碍女性成员们的身心发展。赋予女性经济权力能够改变家庭中的决策机制,从而改进公众福利。女性掌管财政支出时,家庭会在食品和育儿方面花费更多,而不是在烟酒上。 
但是世界银行似乎将事情本末倒置了。是解放妇女促进经济增长还是经济增长刺激妇女解放?在那种体力创造经济价值的经济体中,即使考虑了生儿育女等因素,妇女仍然注定比男人得到更少的回报,体现更小的价值。在多数社会中,经济价值低意味着社会和政治地位也很低。 
发达国家的经验看起来意味着经济增长引发了根本性的妇女解放。随着蛮力价值的下降,劳动力市场为女性提供了更多的机会。现代避孕用品、省力的工具使得女性更容易得到带薪工作,于是随之而来的就是她们的经济和政治实力。有一种观点认为,妇女解放运动的成功并不是由于所谓的“女性的神秘性”,而应该归功于减轻家务负担的洗碗机和洗衣机。倘若如此,世界银行更应该注重促进经济增长而不是操心性别问题。 
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