经济学人:亚裔穆斯林女性受歧视? 英国政府助其融入社会
日期:2016-09-20 09:02



Britain Asian Muslim women
英国 亚裔穆斯林女性
All about taking part
A hidden explanation for Britain’s surprising job numbers: Bangladeshi and Pakistani women are finally surging into the labour market
In an upstairs room at the Jagonari women’s centre in eastLondon, six women in colourful headscarves grin as an instructor enunciates simple English phrases from a whiteboard. The women are mostly new immigrants from Bangladesh, who are being taught English as part of the centre’s “positively integrated” programme. In other classes they will learn how to deal with doctors, police officers and council officials, how to use public transport and how to claim benefits. The idea is to help them find their way around British society—and eventually find jobs.


Britain’s 450,000 Bangladeshis and 1.1m Pakistanis, who began to arrive in large numbers in the 1960s and 1970s, suffer from a huge penalty that is partly self-imposed. Whereas Pakistani and Bangladeshi men have employment rates roughly comparable to black men, the women’s employment rate is around half that of other ethnic-minority women. Lack of a second income is the main reason why more than half of Bangladeshi and Pakistani families live below the official poverty line, and why so many rely on welfare payments to top up their income. The broader cost to Britainof the economic and social marginalisation of so much of its Muslim population is huge. Yet there are some encouraging signs of change.
A combination of traditional culture and modern prejudice keeps women out of work. Many still feel that it is the husband’s role to provide for the family. Even if they want to work, Bangladeshi and Pakistani women are often expected to do a lot of cleaning, cooking and taking care of children, which leaves little time for a job. Village habits die hard: married women still tend to move in with their in-laws, who sometimes jealously restrict their freedom. Staff at the Jagonari centre report encounters with women who are not allowed to learn to drive or even to leave home alone.
Then there is an “ethnic penalty” in hiring. Some 30% of Bangladeshi women who want to work are unemployed. Even well-educated women with Islamic names can struggle to get interviews, says Shaista Gohir, a director at the Muslim Women’s Network. Many employers are reluctant to hire women they fear will leave to take care of children. For new migrants, meanwhile, poor English and weak formal education are huge barriers to work, crowding those women who do so into poorly-paid and menial jobs.
According to the Labour Force Survey, though, the number trying to find work is increasing surprisingly fast. Since 2008, whenBritainentered a deep recession, the proportion of Pakistani women active in the labour market has increased from 29% to 43%. For Bangladeshi women, the trend dates back further (see chart). Many have merely moved from complete inactivity to unemployment, but there have been sizeable jumps in the proportion who have jobs too. By contrast, the employment rate for white women, at around 68%, has barely changed. Among black African andCaribbeanwomen it has fallen.
Government policy probably explains some of this. Since 2005 new migrants have had to pass basic language and citizenship tests to get permanent leave to remain in theBritain, which has forced many new migrants to learn English. Tax credits—generous welfare payments linked to work—have encouraged women of all races to find jobs, especially those whose husbands earn little.
Just as important, they are settling in. British-born Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are far more likely to be in work than new migrants. And the young generation is rising fast. “There has been a near total transformation of Bangladeshi girls” since 2001, argues Shamit Saggar of the University of Sussex. In the GCSE exams taken at the age of 16, Bangladeshi girls now outperform their white peers. Control for poverty, and they beat almost everyone. Pakistani girls have done less well—probably because they are less concentrated in London, where schools have improved most—but they have gained ground too. More of these well-educated second- and third-generation young women enter the labour force each year.
同样重要的是,新移民也做了准备。与其它新移民相比,英国出生的巴基斯坦和孟加拉国女性更愿意工作。并且年轻的一代也迅速增长。苏塞克斯大学的S.萨格(hamit Saggar)认为,自2001年来,孟加拉国的女孩有一个近乎全面的转换。对于16岁需考的英国普通中等教育证书中,现在孟加拉国的女孩比同龄的白种人表现优秀。在战胜贫穷上,她们也比任何人顽强。巴基斯坦的女孩表现较差,伦敦增长了最多的学校,可能是因为她们注意力不集中,但她们也获得了发展。每年,大多数受过良好教育的第二代第三代年轻女性进入劳动力市场。
Meanwhile there is growing awareness of the problems faced by first-generation immigrants. InBirmingham, the council is offering women help to start small businesses, reckoning that home work can fit more easily around family commitments. The Jagonari centre already runs two social enterprises doing similar work.
The main worry, in austerity Britain, is the paucity of cash. Since 2011 English language classes have been free only to those claiming unemployment benefit, which excludes many women claiming other benefits. Welfare is also being squeezed—all benefits are due to rise by less than inflation until 2015. Unless more women go to work, Bangladeshi and Pakistani poverty rates are likely to spiral upwards. “There is so much frustrated ambition”, says Sultana Khanom, one of the workers at the Jagonari centre. It needs to be made use of.
对于实行紧缩政策的英国来说,最大的担心是资金不足。自2001年,只有领取失业救济金的才能免费上英语课,而领取其他救济金的不行。社会福利也正在减少,到2015年来所有的社会福利的增长速度都比通货膨胀慢。除非更多的女性去工作,不然孟加拉国和巴基斯坦的贫困率有可能飞速上升。加各中心一位工人Sultana Khanom认为有太多恐慌的野心抱负,需要好好工作。翻译:杨芸祯



1.labour market 劳动力市场

例句:Amidst the economic setback, the labour market eased visibly over the course of 2001.

2.due to 由于;应归于

例句:Lasting credit is due to all concerned.

3.well-educated 受过良好教育的

例句:Well-educated people are less likely to smoke than men with fewer years of schooling.

4.deal with 处理

例句:He's a hard man to deal with.