Pozadí astronaut Brázda
Pozadí astronaut Brázda

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Respekt in English

Children: Don't have, don't want, can't have

Only 5% of Czech women aged 60-69 are childless today. In their thirtysomething daughters' generation, the share may reach up to 17 percent.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Karel Cudlín • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Karel Cudlín • Autor: Respekt

Only 5% of Czech women aged 60–69 are childless today. In their thirtysomething daughters' generation, the share may reach up to 17 percent. Childless women are the topic of many studies, and a new one is coming out these days, but none of them says how childless women will live without children and how they will cope with being labelled as „selfish women“.

Smoke comes out of the chimney of a lonely house near Benešov. The trash bin is painted with trees and squirrels. One would expect a bunch of children to run out of the cottage any minute, but this will not happen. The Herbsts have no children. „It doesn't mean that no children come to see us. I think they like me, because I show them things their fathers would never show them,“ says 45-year-old Matthias Herbst.

He understands the forest and animals, he works with metal and wood and likes to show his products to the children of their friends. Children are also fascinated by the Indian tools he makes, partly for North American tribes with whom he has spent a lot of time.

„An Indian woman once told me it was good to have children, but there are some childless people in each tribe. Those people are available to everyone,“ says Matthias Herbst. He is German, not an Indian, but he looks at things from a similar perspective. He underwent sterilisation when he was 30 and resolved the issue of…

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