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Topic 75: In many countries, women join the army as men do. However, some people argue that the army solely needs males. What is your opinion?

Stepping into the 21st century, women have set foot in nearly every walk of life. However, the army is still a male-dominated area in much of the world. A great many people hold bias against women's enrolment in the army. In my view, females can contribute to the army just as males do, despite some of their shortcomings.

The first standpoint to conscribe females is that they now have more chances to receive education. In comparison with the past, where the army recruitment policies focused on strength and fitness, the current focus is on academic ability. Physical fighting either armed or unarmed, no longer features in modern warfare. It has been replaced by battles between tanks, armours, missiles or warplanes, most of which are computerised. In other words, females can perform military tasks as their male counterparts do, provided that they are well-educated and well-trained.

Secondly, women have inborn merits that stand them in good stead. Females are less likely to commit faults, for they are accustomed to dealing with matters with accuracy and caution. Patience and consideration of others account for the high presence of females in army hospitals or logistics departments. Other impressive personality traits include their endurance of hardships, especially in gruelling conditions, and their tenderness, a character required in the caring profession in the army.

Notwithstanding their strengths, females have some limitations they may need to overcome. The first obstacle is the social attitudes. Females have to cope with the pressure exerted by their families, acquaintances, or friends, as serving the army is widely seen as a deadly job, which is exclusively for males. The second obstacle is sexual discrimination and harassment, which seems common in most armies and can discourage females from serving their countries.

In conclusion, females' presence in the army should be approved and encouraged. Their performance can be guaranteed by their innate strengths, despite the fact that they might have to cope with prejudices and other external disturbances.

1. bias = prejudice = reconceived notion

2. conscribe = enlist = enrol

3. stand sb. in good stead = advantage sb.

4. gruelling = harsh = tough = difficult = severe = arduous

Topic 76: Gender imbalance has long been a general phenomenon not only in the labour market but also in formal education. Some analysts argue that it is impossible to eliminate the underpresentation of women in some subjects in the university. Do you agree or disagree?

Although gender equality is widely promoted at modern colleges, females are still underrepresented in some subjects. Some people tend to treat it as a persistent problem, believing that the root of this problem is not in the university, but should be seen in a wider context. This conclusion is cursory and should be reviewed in today's society.

The first point to note is that females have made a lot of inroads into fields that have been traditionally dominated by men. To serve in the army was, for instance, the exclusive right of males, but today, more women have been enlisted. Many would consider the army as the most ideally "men only" profession. If females can make a success of it, they can succeed in every other field. The ascendancy of woman has been seen in the surge in their prominent positions in society and in the traditional blue collar business world. Women should not be considered unqualified or incapable of any university subject.

Universities that provide a gender-fair environment see benefits for both students and faculty. Historically, the gender imbalance at colleges has isolated students from the real world, where there is a high chance of dealing with females rather than just males. The tension or conflict between the sexes in the university environment only allows students to exercise their ability to work with peers of the opposite sex. Faculty gets the chance to address the problem of gender inequality and discrimination, which has characterised campuses for decades. This results in a better learning environment, and thus a better thought of university.

Despite what has been discussed, it should be admitted that to put gender equality into practice is a complex task. There are a number of hurdles a female applicant has to overcome in the pursuit of academic objectives, and the first is from family. Traditional families often feel reluctant to support their daughters' quest for higher education. The idea that university is mainly for men to learn a trade to support their wives and family remains prevalent. The women's role is being defined as supporting their husband through performing menial tasks of life.

In conclusion, achieving a gender balance in the university is no longer an unachievable aim at the present time. While the competence of women has widely been recognised by their male colleagues in a wide range of occupations, the balance between men and women in an academic environment is deemed as a necessity. Although problems such as gender prejudice and favouritism continue to prevent women's full participation in some subjects, these problems are losing their leverage.

1. persistent = lasting = constant = permanent

2. cursory = superficial

3. make some inroads into

4. exclusive = absolute = sole

5. ascendancy = dominance = superiority

6. unqualified = incompetent = unprofessional

7. incapable = inept = incompetent = powerless

8. historically = in the past = in history = traditionally = in times gone by

9. imbalance = inequity = inequality

10. hurdle = obstacle = barrier = impediment = problem = difficulty

11. quest for = pursuit of

12. trade = skill = craft

13. menial = tedious = unskilled

14. favouritism = preference = discrimination

Topic 77: Throughout the history, male leaders often made the society more violent and conflicting. If women governed the world, the world would be more peaceful. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

It is always interesting to notice that most of government leaders around the world are male. This situation is becoming more acute as gender roles have changed dramatically over the last century with women taking more high-ranking positions in the corporate world. An issue people are openly debating is whether women, if taking office as world leaders, can bring a more peaceful world. In my opinion, any judgement about the direct link between government policies and the gender of the government leader is premature.

It is first important to correct a common misconception that a leader's decision is determined very often by his or her natural dispositions. The truth is that a leader formulates a policy mostly according to public opinions and makes a decision as the representative of a country. Admittedly, many autocrats in history were meanwhile temperamental males, who were notorious for their volatile characters, unpredictable decrees and aggressive stance. Some historians have offered another explanation for this general sign. A leader with such personalities was favoured and supported by a country during a specific period of time and chosen by a majority of the electorate to pursue the interest of a country. The rise of Hitler Adolf before World War II is a telling example. His attempt to establish a pure race of German people and colonise Europe reflected more a common desire shared by the whole German society than his own will.

Another general notion that females are intrinsically sympathetic and nonviolent is also ungrounded. Although it seems that females are generally less combative, quarrelsome and ambitious than males, there are always exceptions. The path to the top of the chain of command of a country is routinely filled with obstacles. Only those with strong leadership qualities can survive power struggles and reach the top position. It meanwhile requires contestants to show their abilities to make tough decisions in situations, for instance, when the sovereignty of a country is under threat. A good example to support this is the decision made by Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to send a naval task force to recapture the Falkland Islands and settle a military conflict with Argentina. It shows that a female leader should show the same decisiveness as a male leader does.

There are many other examples of this kind to support the argument that a decision to start a war and choose a violent solution to problems is not on personal grounds. A more satisfactory explanation is that a leader makes a decision he or she considers in general interest. The relationship between gender and peace-making is therefore remote.

1. acute = critical = serious = sharp

2. premature = hasty = impulsive = untimely

3. formulate = devise = prepare = invent = create

4. autocrat = tyrant = dictator = absolute ruler

5. temperamental = volatile = moody = unpredictable

6. notorious = infamous = dishonourable = disreputable

7. volatile = unstable = unpredictable = fickle = capricious

8. decree = order = ruling = verdict

9. electorate = voter = voting public

10. nonviolent = peaceful = diplomatic

11. quarrelsome = argumentative = hot-tempered = grouchy

12. contestant = competitor = contender = rival

13. sovereignty = autonomy = independence

14. recapture = resize = regain

15. decisiveness = determination = resolve = authority

16. remote = distant

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 1280

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Topic 73: In many countries, the proportion of older people is increasing steadily. Do you think it is a positive or negative change to the society? | Topic 78: Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of playing sports and participating in physical exercises.
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