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Forever in the archive

It’s time to talk about obstetric violence

**Warning: this piece handles obstetric violence, and goes into some graphic details. If this has affected you and you have not received support, feel free to send me an email and I will try and help you find the right resources in your country.Images: Courtesy

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Routines are great, but have you tried spontaneity?

📢 On 21 September, I am moderating a panel on how losing a caregiver can impact a child’s health and what are possible ways to protect them in the future. It will feature Charles H. Zeanah, professor of psychiatry & pediatrics at Tulane University, and one

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The invisible load holds women back

This morning, as I was driving back from dropping my son off for a few hours with his babysitter, I blasted music on the car stereo and sang along with Rino Gaetano, an Italian singer-songwriter who died before I was born. “Ma il cielo è

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Summer is great for everyone except parents

There is a poem by Gianni Rodari, the Italian children’s book writer I can’t stop raving about, that has always stayed with me. It’s called “Ferragosto”, after the name of the Italian public holiday that falls on 15 August, and it’s about children who can’t afford to

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Why you shouldn’t spank a child

A disturbing investigation by Brazil’s Agência Pública and online platform openDemocracy has uncovered that Brazil’s religious homeschooling groups, supported by ultraconservative U.S. associations, are giving parents instructions on how to spank their children while dodging the law. There are several ways to think about this

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The life-changing power of reading aloud

When I was pregnant with my son Lorenzo, I would often sit down and read aloud to my belly. I wouldn’t read just anything. My plan was to get him acquainted with my all-time favourite author who gave me my first experiences as an independent

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What it’s like to flee a forest fire

One afternoon last year, I fled my home with my family as the hill above my home burned. I’d had time to pack only some laptops and hard discs (don’t ask me why), passports and a change of clothes for my son, Lorenzo, who was

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The cost of the motherhood penalty

🚨 On 18 July, I am moderating a panel on why we should take children and carers into account when reporting on migration. It will feature Luis H. Zayas, chair of mental health and social policy, at UT Austin, U.S., as well as award-winning journalists

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What does trauma really mean?

An image has been haunting me recently. It’s of children lined up in an airport in the United States about to be deported to Mexico and Central America. Of course, this has happened often in reality, but the image comes from Valeria Luiselli’s novel Lost

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Forever in the archive:

Why cooking matters

Meet Manal. She is one of the women I met in Lesbos, the Greek island that became a main transit destination for migrants trying to reach Europe via Turkey. Born in Syria, Manal has three children, the youngest of whom, Nina, was born in the

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Why the books we read matter

A reminder: this coming Monday, 13 June, I am moderating a panel on the mental health of children and carers. I think a lot of readers here will be very interested in the event. It will feature child trauma psychologist Chandra Ghosh Ippen, as well

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The politics of the shocking U.S. formula shortage

An alert before I delve into today’s topic: on 13 June, I am moderating a panel on the mental health of children and carers, which I think would be of much interest to many of your readers. It will feature child trauma psychologist Chandra Ghosh

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What’s it like to give birth in a refugee camp

Aziza never imagined she would become a mother while living in a refugee camp. A civil engineer, she fled Afghanistan last year when the Taliban takeover became a threat to her family because her husband had worked for the US-led government. When they arrived on

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The issue dividing feminists — and a country

After almost two decades away from Italy, I ended up moving back just after I found out I was pregnant in 2018. We lived in a stone house among olive trees in the Umbrian countryside, just off a beautiful Medieval borgo called Montecastello di Vibio. Even

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Is a gender-neutral world science fiction?

I’ve just come back from a trip to Gethen – a cold place, with beautiful glaciers and a society of people that are devoid of sex and gender for most of the time. They are simply *people*, undefined by what they have between their legs

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Creating safe spaces for children during war

Show kids they are in a safe space, physically and emotionally. They need to chose games freely and have enough time to play, in their own time. They require minimal intervention and guidance from adults. They need opportunities to create, no matter what the result

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