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G20: Italy's premier Giorgia Meloni defends taking her daughter to Bali

Meloni says she has a right to be a mother as she sees fit.

Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni has hit back at criticism for taking her young daughter with her to Bali while representing Italy at the G20 summit earlier this week.

Over the past few days a debate has broken out in Italy on social media, triggered by opinion articles in Italian newspapers, regarding the presence of the premier's six-year-old daughter Ginevra in Indonesia.

Meloni, the only female prime minister at the G20, on her return to Italy found herself at the centre of a heated debate over whether she should have taken her little daughter with her on the four-day trip.

The controversy seems to have been sparked by an article in La Stampa in which Assia Neumann Dayan writes: "Workers don't take their daughters to the factory, who knows why (...) I'm pretty sure that Meloni would have no problems talking to China while she helps Ginevra to do subtractions (...) of course if I were her, I'd spend these three days in Bali among adults, I'm sorry daughter, but mummy is saving Italy, if you need anything, ask daddy, I'll be back soon, brush your teeth".

In another article, published by La Repubblica, Claudia de Lillo writes: "Why in these four days that require every mental, physical and emotional energy of a head of state, did Giorgia Meloni choose to take upon herself the load (...) of a daughter in tow? Not to spend quality time which is hardly contemplated by protocol. (…) So why? Probably (…) she believes that closeness to her daughter is a priority, because maternal presence is a non-negotiable value, even when the state asks for 48 hours of absolute involvement and attention".

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Meloni responded: "As I return home from two days of tireless work to best represent Italy at the G20 in Bali, I come across an incredible debate over whether or not it was right to take my daughter with me while I went away for four days."

"The question I have for those animating this thrilling discussion is: so you think that how I should raise my daughter is a matter that concerns you? Because I have news for you: it isn't" - wrote Meloni - "I have the right to be a mother as I see fit and I have the right to do everything I can for this nation without depriving Ginevra of a mother."

Meloni was backed by colleagues in her far-right Fratelli d'Italia party, including defence minister Guido Crosetto who wrote on Twitter: "I too will try to combine institutional commitments with the private life to which I am entitled. So I will do my best to serve Italy and I will continue to be a father, husband and son."

The premier also received support from opposition politicians including Mara Carfagna, of the centrist Azione party, who tweeted: "I too have taken my daughter to conventions and political meetings. Let no one judge the choices of mothers."

Photo credit: Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com.
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