You can correctly choose the gender neutral word "children" for "ragazzi" and "ragazze," without any problem. It is important to note that while a group of girls is only and always translated as "ragazze," "ragazzi" can reference both a group of boys or a group of boys and girls.
Latin-based languages, among others, preserve gender-related noun distinctions. However, there are some fundamentals to understand with this. "Masculine," "feminine," and "gender" are tools to categorize and utilize nouns within the grammatical structure. They have nothing to do with sexist motivations.
Elemy is correct in saying that 1 boy and 49 girls still utilizes "ragazzi." However, this isn't sexist at all. It is not the idea that the male term somehow dominates the female term or that women are seen as less important that men. This is a complete misunderstanding of grammar. The feminine plural is what could be referenced to as a "pure gender" plural. This means that when it is feminine there is 100% certainty that the reference is only about women. The masculine plural is what could be referenced to as an "ambiguous gender" plural. This means that there is uncertainty as to the reference, either of only men or of a mixed-gender group. Ultimately, almost any masculine plural statement can be translated as a reference to both men and women. The interpretation should be heard, since native speakers would hear it.
This same thing existed/might still exist barely in English today. The "all men" phrasing, as in "all men were created equal," is a prime example. This remnant of English masculine gender words is not referencing only those humans who are masculine in gender but all humans. It is already inclusive language. It's really too bad that feminists don't understand grammar; they narrow and diminish the inherit universality of the statement. Women are the ones with a pure plural while men grammatically have the ambiguous plural, which should correctly be understood in the broadest way, inclusively.
Girl power? You had it all along.
Wouldn't it depend on the situation? Like if you were talking about a group of children. The group of children would include boys and girls. Look at the Italian spellings of boy and girl. They are the same except boy has a o at the end and girl has a a. If the group was of only one gender, like boys, it would mean a group of that gender.
So, why do "ragazzi" and "ragazze" nor require an article before them (and also for "uomini" and "donne")? I understand the implied subject, but is the article not needed either?
Is this just for plural predicate nouns, or were they just being formal / careful earlier when they were stressing the article in the singluar forms?
Just think about translating "They are boys" into Italian......Do you need the article "the" in English here? No, you don't, because you are talking about boys in general. So in Italian it is "(Loro) sono ragazzi". Then think about this example: "They are the boys who played football with me yesterday"....in Italian it is : Loro sono i ragazzi che hanno giocato a calcio con me ieri": both in English and in Italian you talk about specific boys, so you use the article.
I have the last 2days trouble getting fast feedback from duolingo webserver to solve my lessons. Sometimes I have to wait about a minute to get a response! In former lessons I got a feedback within 2 seconds.
BTW - I have a very gigh internet speed on WiFi / mobile internet and switched was up between those two options to make sure it is not source of my problem.
Is there something I am missing or doing wrong?
I don't get when you are saying it how do you tell the difference between boys and girls cause they are both "Loro somo ragazzi or ragazze" when speaking or listening how are you supposed to tell the difference? They both have the same spelling and pronunciation of i and e is too close to the same.