Girls are doing better than ever. Don’t let the pandemic stymie them.
For much of human history and in many places , girls were considered property . Or , at best , subordinate people , required to obey their fathers until the day they had to start obeying their husbands. Few people thought it worthwhile to educate them. Even fewer imagined that a girl could grow up to govern Germany, run the IMF or invent a vaccine.
In most of the world that vision of girlhood now seems not merely old-fashioned but unimaginably remote. In much of the rich world parents now treat their daughters as well as they do their sons, and invest as much in their future (see Essay). In field after field girls have caught up with boys. Globally, young women now outnumber young men at university. The speed of change has been blistering. Fifty years ago only 49% of primaryschool-age girls in lower-middle-income countries were in school, compared with 71% of boys; today the share of both is about 90%. In 1998 only half the world’s secondary-school-age girls were enrolled; today two-thirds are. Over the same period rates of illiteracy fell from one in five young women aged 15-24 to one in ten, bringing them roughly on a par with young men.
在世界大多数地方，那种少女时代景象现在不仅看起来过时，而且遥不可及。在大部分发达国家，现在父母对待他们的女儿和儿子是一样的，并且对他们的未来进行同样的投资。女很们，已经在一场又一场比赛中追赶上了男性。从全球来说，目前在校大学生中，年轻女性的数量已经超过年轻男性。这种变化速度非常快。五十年前，在中低收入国家，只有48%的适龄女童在上学，而男童的比例是71% ； 现在，两者的份额都在90% 左右。 在 1998年，全世界只有一半儿的中学适龄女童在上学；今天，这个数字是 三分之二。在同一时期，15-24岁的年轻女性中的文盲比例从五分之一下降到了十分之一，大致与男性持平。
Girl babies are more wanted than ever before. Parents in some countries prefer them. Girls are also less likely to be married off in childhood. In 1995 almost six in ten girls in South Asia were hitched before reaching18; that ratio has fallen by half. Around the world, it has fallen from one in four to one in five.
女婴，比以往任何时候都受欢迎。在一些国家，父母甚至更喜欢女孩。女孩在未成年时期出嫁的可能性也不大。在1995年，南亚有将近 60% 的女孩在18岁之前就结婚了； 现在这个比率已经下降了一半儿。在全球范围内，这个比例已经由四分之一下降到了五分之一。
Girls are healthier, too. Compared with the mid-1990s, they become sexually active later and are more likely to use contraception. Rates of teenage pregnancy have fallen by a quarter globally and by two-thirds in South Asia and North America. Girls are less likely to suffer female genital mutilation—and object to this horrific tradition more vocally. Whereas in 2000 just 27% of women and girls in the most-affected regions said it should be banned, today 54% do.
相比之下，女孩们也更加的健康。与 20世纪90年代中期相比，她们进行性生活的时间较晚，并且更有可能采取安全措施。全球青少年怀孕率下降了四分之一，在南亚和北美，这个数字是三分之二。女孩更少可能遭受避孕措施——她们直言不讳的反对这一可怕的传统。2000年，在受传统影响最严重的地区，只有27%的女孩和妇女表示应当禁止避孕，而现在有54% 。
When societies handle girlhood well, the knock-on effects are astounding. A girl who finishes secondary school is less likely to become a child bride or a teenage mother. Education boosts earning power and widens choices, so she is less likely to be poor or to suffer domestic abuse. She will earn almost twice as much as a girl without schooling.
And she will pass on a smorgasbord of advantages to her offspring. She will have fewer children, and invest more in them. They will be less likely to die in infancy, or to grow up stunted physically or mentally. She will read to them more, and help them with their homework. All this means they will learn more, and earn more as adults. A recent study by Citigroup and Plan International estimated that, if a group of emerging economies ensured that100% of their girls completed secondary school, it could lead to a lasting boost to their gdp of10% by 2030.
并且，她将会把各种优点传给后代。她将会要更少的孩子，并且在孩子身上投入更多。她们的孩子在婴儿期死亡的概率很小，在成长过程中身体或者精神发育不良的可能性也更小。她将会给孩子读更多的书，并且帮助孩子们做作业。所有的这些，都意味着，她们的后代成年后，能够学得的更多，挣得更多。Citigroup 和 Plan International 最近的一项研究估计，如果一些新兴经济体，能够让国内女孩100%完成中学教育，那么到2030年，这将为国家带来 10% 的 GDP 持续增长。
Because the benefits of nurturing girls are so large, it is a scandal that some countries have still failed to grasp them. Less than half the girls in South Asia, the Middle East or Africa have access to the contraception that they may want. Only one girl in three south of the Sahara finishes her secondary education. And although rates of child marriage have fallen by half in South Asia, they have fallen by less than that in Africa (which now has the highest rate in the world) and have remained stagnant in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The covid-19 pandemic could hobble progress for girls in poor countries, or even reverse it. During previous disasters, they have often suffered most. When Ebola forced west African schools to close in 2014, many girls dropped out, never went back and ended up pregnant or as child labourers. UNICEF warns that something similar could happen with covid-19—but on a larger scale. Studies suggest that in the next decade 13m child marriages that would have been averted may go ahead, and an extra 2m girls may have their genitals cut.
The risk of regression is real. So it is crucial that, even if governments of poor countries have to tighten their belts, they prioritise spending on education and girls. Donors should help, too. And policies should be joined up. Persuading girls to stay in school longer is not only a way to teach them maths; it is also a chance to vaccinate them and teach them about birth control, consent and self-assertion. It can even be an opportunity to advise parents about the downsides of child marriage.
Adolescence is a crucial juncture for girls. It is when many health problems emerge or are averted; and many social ones, too, from truancy to self-harm. Only recently has this phase been recognised as the most important for brain development after infancy. Get it right and billions of girls will have a better shot at fulfilling their potential. Get it wrong and they will live poorer, shorter lives, less able to stand up for themselves, more vulnerable to coercion, and more likely to pass these disadvantages on to the next generation. So, get girlhood right.
A: Wow, our crawfish is here! Let me take a foodfie first!
B: I’ve never tried it before . So you call it “small lobster” in chinese?
A: Yes , because it’s kind of like a lobster , but much smaller of course . It’s an extremely popular summer dish. Before you dig in , wear the bib and put on these gloves first .
B: Oh ,this is fun ! How do I take the meat out?
A: Just follow what I’m doing . You can actually peel the shell off pretty easily . But first , suck on it to get all the flavors and juices .
B: Um , tastes nice! Very punchy flavor!
A: This style of cooking is called “12 spices” . It’s got a kick but it’s not too spicy.
B: It’s really good .
A: So you don’t have crawfish in America?
B: Actually we do . There’s a famous New Orleans dish called gumbo. It’s got crawfish in it.
A: Really ? What does it taste like?
B: It’s a stew , more like a soup. It’s also pretty spicy. It’s Cajun.
A: Nice . I’d like to try it someday.
B: Maybe I can search for a recipe and try to make it . We can invite a few friends over for a gumbo potluck dinner.(家常便饭)
A: Sounds like a plan! Do you want more cold beer?