来源:www.putclub.com 2019-01-12

Women in the workforce
EVEN today in the modern, developed world, surveys show that parents still prefer to have a boy rather than a girl. One longstanding reason why boys have been seen as a greater blessing has been that they are expected to become better economic providers for their parentsold age. Yet it is time for parents to think again. Girls may now be a better investment.

Girls get better grades at school than boys, and in most developed countries more women than men go to university. Women will thus be better equipped for the new jobs of the 21st century, in which brains count a lot more than brawn.

Furthermore, the increase in female employment in the rich world has been the main driving force of growth in the past couple of decades. Those women have contributed more to global GDP growth than have either new technology or the new giants, China and India. Add the value of housework and child-rearing, and women probably account for just over half of world output. It is true that women still get paid less and few make it to the top of companies, but, as prejudice fades over coming years, women will have great scope to boost their productivityand incomes.

Governments, too, should embrace the potential of women. Women complain (rightly) of centuries of exploitation. Yet, to an economist, women are not exploited enough: they are the worlds most under-utilised resource; getting more of them into work is part of the solution to many economic woes, including shrinking populations and poverty.

Some people fret that if more women work rather than mind their children, this will boost GDP but create negative social externalities, such as a lower birth rate. Yet developed countries where more women work, such as Sweden and America, actually have higher birth rates than Japan and Italy, where women stay at home. Others fear that womens move into the paid labour force can come at the expense of children. Yet the evidence for this is mixed. For instance, a study by Suzanne Bianchi at Maryland University finds that mothers spent the same time, on average, on childcare in 2003 as in 1965.The increase in work outside the home was offset by less housework and less spare time and less sleep.

What is clear is that in countries such as Japan, Germany and Italy, which are all troubled by the demographics of shrinking populations, far fewer women work than in America, let alone Sweden. If female labour-force participation in these countries rose to American levels, it would give a helpful boost to these countriesgrowth rates. Likewise, in developing countries where girls are less likely to go to school than boys, investing in education would deliver huge economic and social returns. Not only will educated women be more productive, but they will also bring up better educated and healthier children. More women in government could also boost economic growth: studies show that women are more likely to spend money on improving health, education, infrastructure and poverty and less likely to waste it on tanks and bombs.

It used to be said that women must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily that is not so difficult.






有人担心,如果更多的女性参加工作而不是在家照顾孩子,虽然她们可以推动国民生产总值的增长,但也会产生负面的社会现象,如人口出生率的降低。但是,较多女性参加工作的发达国家(如瑞典和美国)的人口出生率比较多女性留在家庭的国家(如日本和意大利)还要高。也有人担心女性加入雇佣劳动大军会影响孩子的成长。但这种现象是复杂的。例如,Maryland大学Suzanne Bianchi的研究发现,2003年和1965年母亲花在照顾孩子上的平均时间相同。工作时间的增加被较少的家务、休闲和睡眠时间抵消了。




longstanding  a.(已持续)长时间的,为时甚久的

rear   n.后部,尾部;a.①后方的,后部的;②背后的 v.饲养,抚养

prejudice  n.①偏见,成见;②损害,侵害 v.抱有(存有)偏见

[真题例句]In that mirror we can see the strengths, the weaknesses, the hopes, the prejudices (n.①), and the central values of the culture itself.[1994年阅读3]

[例句精译] 在这面镜子里,我们可以看到力量、弱点、希望、偏见和文化的核心价值。

embrace  v.①拥抱;②包含

[真题例句]In the American economy, the concept of private property embraces (②) not only the ownership of productive resources but also certain rights, including the right to determine the price of a product or to make a free contract with another private individual.[1994年阅读1]

[例句精译] 在美国经济中,私有财产的概念不仅包括生产资料的所有权,也包括一定的权利,比如,产品价格的决定权或与其他私有个体的自由签约权。

exploitation  n.开发, 开采, 剥削, 自私的利用, 宣传, 广告

negative  n.否定, 负数, 底片; a.否定的, 消极的, 负的, 阴性的; vt.否定, 拒绝(接受)