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新视野大学英语 读写教程第四册 unit2-b

时间:2005-12-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:1234567890   字体: [ ]

  The Political Career of a Female Politician
Modest and soft-spoken, Agatha Muthoni Mbogo, 24, is hardly the image of a revolutionary. Yet, six months ago, she did a most revolutionary thing: She ran for mayor of Embu, Kenya, and won.
Ms. Mbogo's victory was even more surprising because she was voted in by her colleagues on the District Council, all men. For the thousands of women in this farming area two hours northeast of Nairobi, Ms. Mbogo suddenly became a symbol of the increasingly powerful political force women have become in Kenya and across Africa.
Ms. Mbogo launched her dream of a career in politics in 1992 by running for the Embu Council, facing the obstacles that often trouble African women running for political office. She had little money. She had no political experience. She faced ridiculous questions about her personal life. "My opponent kept insisting that I was going to get married to somebody in another town and move away," Ms. Mbogo said.
Ms. Mbogo also faced misunderstanding among the town's women, many of whom initially1 were unwilling2 to vote for her. She became an ambassador for women's political rights, giving speeches before women's groups and going from door to door, handbag in hand, spending hours at a time giving a combination of speech and government lesson.
"I was delighted when she won the election, because men elected her," said Lydiah Kimani, an Embu farmer and political activist3. "It was the answer to my prayers because it seemed to be a victory over this idea that 'women can't lead'."
Education of African women has become a top priority for political activists4. One organization has held dozens of workshops in rural Kenya to help women understand the nation's constitution and the procedures and theory behind a democratic political system. One veteran female political activist said that many women had not been taught the basics of political participation5. They are taught to vote for the one who "gives you a half-kilo sack of flour, 200 grams of salt, or a loaf of bread" during the campaign, said the activist.
Women politicians and activists say they are fighting deeply held cultural traditions. Those traditions teach that African women cook, clean, take care of children, sow and harvest crops and support their husbands. They typically do not inherit land, divorce their husbands, control their finances or hold political office.
Yet, political activity among Kenyan women is not a new phenomenon. During the struggle for independence in the 1950s, Kenyan women often secretly provided troops with weapons and spied on the positions of colonial forces. But after independence, leaders jealous to protect their power shut them out of politics, a situation repeated across the continent.
Today, men still have the upper hand. Women in Kenya make up 60 percent of the people who vote, but only 3 percent of the National Assembly. No Kenyan woman has ever held a cabinet post.
Against that background, Agatha Mbogo began her political career. After winning her council seat, she declined a spot on the education and social services committee after a colleague called it "a woman's committee". She instead joined the town planning committee, a much more visible assignment.
Then last year, she decided6 to challenge Embu's mayor, a veteran politician. Ms. Mbogo said she had become frustrated7 because the donor8 groups that provide substantial aid to Kenya's rural areas "did not want to come here".
"We weren't seeing things done for the community," she said. "It was a scandal — the donors9' money seemed to be going to individuals."
After a fierce campaign, the council elected her, 7 to 6. She said women in Embu celebrated10. Men were puzzled; some were hostile. They asked, "How could all of those men vote for a woman?" she recalled.
Ms. Mbogo has not met with the kinds of abuse that other female politicians have been subjected to, however. Some have said their supporters are sometimes attacked with clubs after rallies. Last June, Kenyan police attempted to break up a women's political meeting northwest of Nairobi, insisting it was illegal and might start a riot. When the 100 women, including a member of the National Assembly, refused to go, officers tore down their banners and beat them with clubs and fists, witnesses reported.
In contrast, Ms. Mbogo generally receives warm greetings from the men of Embu, and many say they are now glad the council chose her.
Donor groups are now funding projects in Embu in earnest. A new market is going up downtown. A 200-bed section for new-mothers is being added to the hospital. A dormitory-style home has been built for the dozens of homeless street children who once wandered the city. Ms. Mbogo is especially proud of the market and the hospital because "they have an impact on women".
At the current market, where hundreds of people, shaded by umbrellas, lay out fruits and vegetables, one person who sells lemons said she liked the new mayor.
"I feel like if I have a problem, I can go to her office," she said. "The other mayor shouted. He acted like an emperor. He did not want to hear my problems."
Nearby, a man said he found Ms. Mbogo a refreshing11 change. "I'm tired of men," he said, watching over his pile of onions. "They give us so many promises, but they don't deliver the goods. As long as she keeps giving us what we want, she is all right."
(Words: 902)


1 initially 273xZ     
  • The ban was initially opposed by the US.这一禁令首先遭到美国的反对。
  • Feathers initially developed from insect scales.羽毛最初由昆虫的翅瓣演化而来。
2 unwilling CjpwB     
  • The natives were unwilling to be bent by colonial power.土著居民不愿受殖民势力的摆布。
  • His tightfisted employer was unwilling to give him a raise.他那吝啬的雇主不肯给他加薪。
3 activist gyAzO     
  • He's been a trade union activist for many years.多年来他一直是工会的积极分子。
  • He is a social activist in our factory.他是我厂的社会活动积极分子。
4 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 participation KS9zu     
  • Some of the magic tricks called for audience participation.有些魔术要求有观众的参与。
  • The scheme aims to encourage increased participation in sporting activities.这个方案旨在鼓励大众更多地参与体育活动。
6 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
7 frustrated ksWz5t     
adj.挫败的,失意的,泄气的v.使不成功( frustrate的过去式和过去分词 );挫败;使受挫折;令人沮丧
  • It's very easy to get frustrated in this job. 这个工作很容易令人懊恼。
  • The bad weather frustrated all our hopes of going out. 恶劣的天气破坏了我们出行的愿望。 来自《简明英汉词典》
8 donor dstxI     
  • In these cases,the recipient usually takes care of the donor afterwards.在这类情况下,接受捐献者以后通常会照顾捐赠者。
  • The Doctor transplanted the donor's heart to Mike's chest cavity.医生将捐赠者的心脏移植进麦克的胸腔。
9 donors 89b49c2bd44d6d6906d17dca7315044b     
n.捐赠者( donor的名词复数 );献血者;捐血者;器官捐献者
  • Please email us to be removed from our active list of blood donors. 假如你想把自己的名字从献血联系人名单中删去,请给我们发电子邮件。
  • About half this amount comes from individual donors and bequests. 这笔钱大约有一半来自个人捐赠及遗赠。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 celebrated iwLzpz     
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
11 refreshing HkozPQ     
  • I find it'so refreshing to work with young people in this department.我发现和这一部门的青年一起工作令人精神振奋。
  • The water was cold and wonderfully refreshing.水很涼,特别解乏提神。
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