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亚洲:重男轻女的后果

2011-07-25
重男轻女,生活方式
2011年07月25日 亚洲:重男轻女的后果
Heirs and spares
作者:英国《金融时报》 记者 联合报道

In the Indian farming village of Medina, 200km from Delhi, the narrow lanes are clogged with high-end sport utility vehicles, reflecting the prosperity brought by rising land values to this traditional community. In their mud-floored homes, residents display flatscreen televisions, refrigerators and other modern conveniences.
在印度距离德里200公里一个叫做Medina的村子里,一条条狭窄的巷子里停满了高档SUV,尽显地价上涨给这个传统农村地区带来的繁荣景象。在村民地面是泥地的住宅里,主人家展示着平板电视、冰箱及其他各种现代化设备。

But Medina’s families are also using their new wealth to acquire a scarce local commodity: teenage girls to act as wives for the community’s growing cohorts of unmarried men.
当地人家在富裕起来以后,也开始花钱去购买本地稀缺的一种商品:少女——给村里日益增多的光棍汉当老婆。

A shortage of young women arising from decades of aggressive use of sex-selective abortion in northern breadbasket states – including Haryana, where Medina is located – is prompting families to turn to the impoverished east to secure females. Communities once fussy about caste are now prepared to buy young girls who do not even speak their language, though such unions are usually without formal weddings. “At first, people were ashamed of bringing wives from outside, but now they don’t care – they pay and they bring,” says Ram Niwas, 68. “A woman is a child-bearing machine. Her only work is to bear children and cook.”
在印度北方的主要产粮区,包括Medina所在的哈里亚纳邦,由于几十年来选择性堕胎现象极为泛滥,导致年轻女子稀缺,人们于是转从贫困的东部地区买女人。往昔讲究种姓的人家现在准备买连语言都不通的年轻姑娘,只不过这样的结合通常都缺少正式婚礼。“起初,人们还为娶外族女人感到羞愧,但现在他们不在乎了。他们付钱,然后把女人带回来。”68岁的拉姆•尼瓦斯(Ram Niwas)说道,“女人就是生孩子的机器,她们唯一的工作就是生孩子和做饭。”

Three years ago, Mr Niwas paid Rs80,000 to buy Suman, now 19, from Assam state for his 35-year-old son. While some girls are cast out after delivering and weaning a boy, Suman still lives in the household following the birth of her own, though says she is beaten when she displeases her in-laws. For Mr Niwas it has been a good deal. “A water buffalo is still more expensive than one of these girls,” he says.
3年前,尼瓦斯花8万卢比从阿萨姆邦给他35岁的儿子买了苏曼(Suman)。苏曼今年才19岁。一些生下男孩的女子,等到孩子断奶后就会被赶走,但苏曼生下儿子后仍然留在了这个家里。不过她说,每次惹公婆不高兴了,她就会挨打。对尼瓦斯来说,这是一笔顶划算的买卖。他说:“一头水牛还比这样的女孩贵呢。”

Officials in Asia’s fast-growing economies are less sanguine. India, China and also Vietnam are becoming increasingly alarmed by a shortage of girls that defies assumptions that gender imbalance will fall as wealth rises. They point to the social and political consequences of rising numbers of unmarried men and the potential impact on economic growth.
在亚洲一些发展迅速的经济体,官员们可不像尼瓦斯如此乐观。印度、中国和越南都正日益为缺少女孩而感到心惊。出乎人们意料,性别失衡并没有随着财富的增长而得到缓解。他们指出,打光棍的男人不断增多,既带来了严重的社会和政治后果,对经济增长也有潜在影响。

Prostitution and forced marriage are rising in both India and China. India has recorded an upsurge of violent crime against women, including gang rape and honour killing, while in China there has been a spate of kidnappings of school-age girls taken to be reared as future brides. Meanwhile security experts warn the glut of unmarried young men is increasing tensions in societies already in ferment from rapid economic change.
在印度和中国,卖淫和逼婚现象呈上升之势。在印度,针对女性的暴力犯罪案件激增,包括轮奸和“荣誉谋杀”。而在中国,大量学龄女孩被拐走成为童养媳。另一方面,安全专家警告说,大量年轻男人打光棍,正使已经因经济快速增长而躁动不安的社会更趋紧张。

In the long term, a shortage of girls contributes to “the criminalisation of society”, says G.D. Bakshi of Vivekananda International Foundation, a Delhi security think-tank. “It will aggravate aggressive tendencies – whether they manifest in internal conflict, armed rebellions or you try and externalise conflict.”
维维卡南达国际基金会(Vivekananda International Foundation)的G•D•巴克希(G.D. Bakshi)表示,从长远来看,女孩短缺将造成“社会的犯罪化”。“它将加剧攻击性倾向,不论这种倾向是体现为内部冲突、武装叛乱,还是你试图将冲突外部化。”该基金会设在德里,是一个关注安全问题的智库。

In China, the sex ratio among newborns is about 120 boys for every 100 girls, compared with the ratio of 105 boys per 100 girls that is considered normal. So concerned are authorities that last month Li Bin, minister of the national population and family planning commission, told state-owned Xinhua news agency: “One of the important tasks in the [recently adopted] 12th five-year plan is to ease the unbalanced gender ratio.”
中国的新生儿男女比例约为120:100,而人们认为这个比例在105:100左右才是正常水平。当局对此深感担忧。上月,中国国家人口计生委主任李斌告诉官方媒体新华社:“十二五期间的一个重要任务,就是确保出生人口性别比明显下降。”

Delhi, in turn, was jolted by census data showing the number of boys under the age of seven rose from 107.9 per 100 girls in 2001 to 109.4 in 2011, even as the economy grew at unprecedented speed. The influential National Advisory Council headed by Sonia Gandhi, leader of the ruling Congress party, has set up a committee to discuss how to reverse the trend.
而印度的人口普查数据显示,2011年7岁以下儿童的男女比例从2001年的107.9:100上升至109.4,尽管期间印度经济以空前速度增长。这令政府深感震惊。由执政党国大党(Congress party)主席索尼娅•甘地(Sonia Gandhi)担任主席、颇具影响力的国家咨询委员会(National Advisory Council)专门成立了一个委员会,探讨如何扭转这一趋势。

Communist-ruled Vietnam shows a similar trend of rising affluence and increasing imbalance. After a decade of blistering growth, it reported 110.5 boys born for every 100 girls in 2009, up from a more “normal” ratio of 106.2 boys in 2000. Nguyen Thien Nhan, a deputy prime minister, has warned that 3m men may be unable to find wives by 2030, and Hanoi is grappling for a response.
共产党执政的越南也出现了类似趋势:人们的生活日益富足,而男女失衡却不断加剧。经过10年的高速增长,越南的出生性别比在2009年达到110.5,而2000年这一比例还处在106.2的较“正常”水平。越南副总理阮善仁(Nguyen Thien Nhan)警告说,到2030年全国可能有300万男性找不到老婆。目前河内正在抓紧研究对策。

Traditional preferences for sons are deep-rooted in Asia, particularly in agricultural communities. Boys help till the fields and are responsible for caring for their elderly parents. Girls require dowries and, once married, are expected to be loyal to a husband’s family and are therefore unable to support their own parents in their dotage.
重男轻女的传统风气在亚洲根深蒂固,尤其是在农村地区。男孩子能够帮忙种地,并负责赡养年老的父母。而养女儿得给她置办嫁妆,等她结婚后就成了夫家的人,所以在自己的父母年老时也出不了什么力。

Confounding long-held expectations, the preference appears to persist even as development creates new opportunities for women, potentially reducing long-held perceptions that daughters are solely economic liabilities and altering the relative costs of raising sons and daughters. “You see this rising affluence, and high standards of living, but in terms of social values, and social thinking, a large part remains extremely primitive,” says A.K. Shiva Kumar, a member of India’s NAC. “The social pressure for sons is phenomenally high, particularly among the middle class. The symbols of modernity surround them, but you don’t have any change in thinking.”
与人们长期以来的预期相反,尽管社会发展为女性带来了新的机遇,潜在地冲淡了女儿是赔钱货的传统观念,并改变了养儿子与养女儿的相对成本,但是重男轻女的风气并没有消失。“你看社会越来越富足,生活水平很高,可是社会价值观和社会思想大体上仍然极为落后。”印度国家咨询委员会的A•K•席瓦•库玛(A.K. Shiva Kumar)表示,“男孩的社会压力异常之高,尤其是中产家庭的孩子。他们周围都是各种现代化事物,但在思想上却毫无改进。”

With the spread of ultrasound machines, what families in Haryana casually call “the wipeout” has become much easier. “The intensity of daughter aversion may reduce, but parents’ ability to act on that aversion is much higher now,” says Ena Singh of the UN Population Fund in Delhi.
随着B超的普及,哈里亚纳人所说的“消灭”变得轻而易举。“厌恶女儿的情绪或许有所减轻,但父母在这种厌恶情绪的驱使下采取行动的能力却大为提升。”联合国人口基金会(UNFPA)驻德里的伊娜•辛格(Ena Singh)如此表示。

India, China and Vietnam have all banned sex-selective abortions and prohibit medics from disclosing a child’s gender before birth. But enforcement is erratic, with few prosecutions for violations. Chinese and Indian doctors in urban areas may follow the rules but clinics elsewhere operate with few controls. In Vietnam, the sex-selective abortions is seen as a routine medical service.
印度、中国和越南都禁止选择性堕胎,也禁止医院提前透露婴儿性别。可惜执行不力,违规者极少受到起诉。在中国和印度,城市里的医生可能会遵守相关规定,但其他地方的诊所基本上处于放任自流的状态。在越南,选择性堕胎则被认为是一种常规医疗服务。

In China, “villagers who have even a little money or good connections will be able to find out the gender before birth”, says Cheng Zhu, whose six-year-old daughter was kidnapped six years ago, probably to serve as a child bride, as she waited to be picked up from school.
在中国,程朱(音译)表示,“农村人但凡有点钱或者有点门路,都能在孩子出生前就知道性别”。6年前,程朱6岁的女儿在放学后等人接时被拐跑,大概也成了童养媳了。

. . .
. . .

China and India have both launched schemes to encourage families to raise daughters. Under Beijing’s “care for girls” policy, parents of lone females may receive up to Rmb900 (0) a month in old-age pension payments. In some rural areas daughters are awarded extra points on university entrance exams, or a college fund of up to Rmb3,000.
中国和印度均出台了鼓励生养女儿的政策。根据“关爱女孩”政策,中国独生女的父母年老时最多可领取每月900元人民币(合140美元)的补助。在一些农村地区,女孩考大学可以加分,或者考上大学后最多可领到3000元补助。

In Henan, one of the less developed provinces, single-girl families receive a 20 per cent discount on medical care. The countryside is filled with billboards, banners and barn sides like the one in Guizhou, the poorest province, asking: “If you don’t give birth to girls, where will all the daughters-in-law come from?”
在较不发达的河南省,独生女家庭就医时可享受20%优惠。中国农村地区到处可见相关的告示牌和横幅,就连谷仓外面也写上了标语。例如,在最穷的省份贵州有一座谷仓的外面就写着:“都不生闺女,到哪儿讨老婆?”

Some Indian states offer girls small sums for reaching life-cycle milestones. However, while sex selection is increasingly common in more affluent groups, only poor families are eligible. There is little in the way of public campaigning. “We are still groping for what to tell them,” says Mr Shiva Kumar.
印度一些邦在女孩达到生育年龄时会发放小额津贴。然而,虽然性别选择在较富裕群体中变得越来越普遍,但只有穷人家才有资格领取这些津贴。目前公共宣传寥寥无几。“我们仍在琢磨怎么跟他们说。”席瓦•库玛表示。

To the east, however, Beijing’s carrot-and-stick policies – coupled with rapid economic changes – are having some impact. After two decades of a worsening gender imbalance – severely exacerbated by the one-child policy adopted in 1979 – the newborn sex ratio has stabilised, while the excess of boys has even begun to go into reverse in some regions.
不过,在印度邻国中国,胡萝卜加大棒政策正在取得一定的成效,其中经济迅速增长也起到了一定作用。在性别失衡状况持续恶化了20年——1979年开始实施的独生子女政策严重加剧了男女失衡现象——之后,中国的出生性别比已趋于稳定,在一些地区,男孩过剩现象甚至开始发生逆转。

In any case, says Cai Yong of the University of North Carolina, China’s imbalance may never have been as severe as figures showed, since many girls’ births were simply never registered. “School enrolment data suggest that the sex ratio of school-aged children is not as high as sex ratio at birth, suggesting that a considerable number of girls are ‘hidden’ in the population,” he argues.
另外,北卡罗来纳大学(University of North Carolina)的蔡泳表示,中国的男女失衡现象或许从来不像数据所显示得那样严重,因为许多女孩出生后并没有上户口。“就学登记数据表明,学龄儿童的性别比并不像出生性别比那么高,这说明人口中‘隐藏’了相当多的女孩。”

In China, sons are increasingly seen as the greater financial burden. Faced with growing competition for brides, young men must save to buy an apartment before they can marry. Meanwhile, as growing industrialisation brings more job opportunities in factories, women’s economic value and independence has risen too.
在中国,儿子日益被看成更沉重的经济负担。由于竞争加剧,为了娶到老婆,年轻男性必须省钱买房子才结得了婚。与此同时,由于工业化趋势增加了在工厂打工的机会,女性的经济价值和独立性都有所上升。

The expansion of the social safety net into rural areas has changed the value of girls and boys, too. As pensions become more common, parents grow less eager to have sons. Women’s improving economic situation also provides more autonomy to support their own parents, compared to when they were dependent on their husbands. “Sons bring economic pressure ... a daughter is a warm jacket for a mother when she is old,” says Zhang Yun, who lives in Shanghai.
社会保障制度延伸到农村,也改变了男孩和女孩的相对价值。随着养老金变得更加普及,父母们想要有个儿子的心态变得不那么迫切。女性经济状况的不断改善,也使她们有更多的自主权来扶持自己的父母,不像过去只能依靠丈夫。“养儿子有经济压力……而女儿是妈妈老了以后的小棉袄。”居住在上海的张芸(音译)表示。

. . .
. . .

Yet China will live with the consequences of its intense son preference for decades to come. Its 2010 census showed 34m more men than women – comparable, says retired military officer Yao Cheng, who runs Huijiawang, a charity dedicated to rescuing abducted children, to the male population of France. “What if all the men of France did not get married?”
不过,未来几十年内,中国必须去承受重男轻女风俗所造成的后果。2010年的人口普查显示,中国男性比女性多3400万——据“回家网”负责人、退休军官姚诚表示,这相当于法国全部男性人口。“要是所有法国男人都不结婚会怎样呢?”回家网是一个以营救被拐卖儿童为宗旨的慈善团体。

One result is a growing trade in young girls and toddlers, who are abducted and sold to families to be raised as future brides. Many young women from Vietnam and Burma are also trafficked, or otherwise sent, into China for the same purpose.
一个后果就是贩卖年轻女孩和女童的现象增多。许多小女孩被拐后卖给人家当童养媳。越南和缅甸的许多年轻女性也被卖到或送到中国嫁人。

The impact on Chinese savings rates, too, is significant. Wei Shangjin, a professor at Columbia University, believes parents accumulating wealth for their sons’ marriages helped drive the rise in private savings between 1990 and 2005, exacerbating global trade imbalances.
中国的储蓄率也受到了极大影响。哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University)教授魏尚进认为,父母为儿子以后结婚攒钱,是造成1990至2005年间中国储蓄率上升、由此导致全球贸易失衡加剧的因素之一。

Professor Li Jianmin, a demographer at Nankai University, warns of the outlook for childless males. “Elder care for these single men will be a social problem,” he says.
南开大学人口统计学家李建民教授警告说,无子女单身男性的晚景堪忧。“这些单身男人上了年纪后,如何照顾他们将成为一个社会问题。”

In India the trends are even more worrying. There has been some improvement in the northern states with the most severe imbalances for children below the age of seven in 2001 – Punjab and Haryana – though rates are still 118.2 and 120.5 boys per hundred girls respectively. At the same time, the tendency to prevent the birth of daughters is spreading to regions that once had much healthier balances, leading to a worsening of the national ratio.
在印度,形势更加令人担心。2001年,7岁以下儿童性别比失衡最严重是北部的旁遮普邦和哈里亚纳邦。如今这两个邦的情况有所改善,但性别比依然分别高达118.2和120.5。与此同时,防止生女儿的倾向正向以往性别比较为平衡的地区蔓延,导致全国性别比持续恶化。

This has alarmed a political establishment that once assumed the bias against daughters was caused by poverty and would fade with rising wealth. Authorities are debating how better to enforce the ban on sex selective abortions and are re-evaluating existing incentive schemes.
这令过去以为重男轻女是贫穷所致、将会随着财富增长而消失的印度政府感到震惊。当局正在讨论如何更好地落实禁止选择性堕胎的规定,并重新评估现行的各项激励政策。

Yet experts believe more fundamental changes to the status of Indian women – better education and job opportunities – are required to give greater value to daughters and reverse the trend. These shifts are beginning, though at a far slower pace than in rapidly industrialising China.
不过,专家们认为,必须对印度女性的地位进行更根本的改革,增加女性受教育和就业的机会,使女孩更加受重视,以扭转当前趋势。目前印度已经开始出现这些转变,只是速度远远慢于正快速工业化的中国。

“If the situation of women in India were to radically transform tomorrow,” says the UN’s Ms Singh, “parents would make different decisions about having daughters.”
“假如今后印度女性的处境能发生根本变化,父母们在生不生女儿时就会作出不同的决定。”联合国人口基金会的辛格表示。

Additional reporting by Girija Shivakumar, Ben Bland and Shirley Chen
(英国《金融时报》艾米•卡兹明、帕提•沃德米尔、吉瑞加•西瓦库玛联合报道,詹姆斯•拉蒙特、本•布莱德和Shirley Chen补充报道。)

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