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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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Forever in the archive

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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LEGO Superman in shallow focus

Why a child’s imagination is a superpower

Baidui is a child, but he’s also an uncle. He is a boy, but he’s also a mother. He is one and many at the same time. He lives in Thailand, but travels daily to Argentina, Italy and Greece. He goes to a daycare, but

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Who gets to make decisions for a child?

Photo credit: Picturehouse Entertainment A child walks into a courtroom to sue his parents. When the judge asks him why, the boy answers: “Because I was born… I want them to stop having children.” This is a scene from the Lebanese film Capernaum, directed by

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Off on a date on a working day

Dear reader, This week I had several plans for this newsletter. I wanted to reflect on climate anxiety, following the latest damning IPCC report. I planned to write a piece in praise of the work of midwives. I am also still processing an interview on

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War has no borders

Dear reader, I am in Lesbos this week, the Greek island that became the symbol of migrants and refugees in 2015 when tens of thousands of people arrived after crossing the sea from Turkey. Many drowned in the Aegean Sea before making it to shore.

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What does war mean for children?

Jasminko Halilovic was four years old when the siege of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, started in 1992. His memories of the war are punctuated by the rare breaks from shelling when he would go out into the street to learn how to ride his bike.

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When children feel like a burden

When do children become a burden rather than a joy? I’m not ready for the question that Nacho, my husband, asks me while he’s driving us from one errand to another. Lorenzo, our son, is with us today because of something Covid-related (is it the

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Forever in the archive:

Why we should give every child the right to quality daycare

In Italy, there is a new plan to invest heavily into building new daycare centres as part of the NextGenerationEU recovery plan. Initially I was surprised to find so much push-back against these early education spaces, even from right-wing spaces such as senator Tiziana Drago, who

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Not having children does not diminish us

Pope Francis recently created a big controversy by criticising couples who decide to have pets over children. “This denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us, it takes away our humanity,” he said. “Civilisation becomes aged and without humanity, because it loses the richness of fatherhood

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sleeping fox

Let’s talk about sleep, baby

If you read my newsletter last week, you may remember that my intention for 2022 is to get enough sleep every day. Ten days into the new year, I am already sleep-deprived: I’m writing this after having slept only five hours, as I stayed up well

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Three ways The First 1,000 Days plans to start 2022

This is a special edition of this newsletter that marks our first-year anniversary, so I’ll skip recommendations for this week. They will be back next week as usual. Since I was little, I always paid attention to the Neapolitan tradition that whatever you do on

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How I see the first 1,000 days recognised globally

My home city of Naples, in southern Italy, is famous for its wild celebrations on New Year’s Eve. Like many places, at midnight the skies light up with thousands of fireworks — which have caused many injuries and deaths throughout the years. The streets also

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baby's feet

Humanising childbirth: less silence about the violence

We don’t remember when we were born — let alone the circumstances and the scene that day. They’re not really stories we sit around a fire or kitchen table listening to, especially if the experience itself was negative: if the person giving birth had negative

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