The strength of a man is in his character and though we don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes, they have the power to break stereotypes and to celebrate the men and their contributions to the society, community and to their respective families, International Men’s Day is celebrated annually. It is also the day when awareness is created on men’s wellbeing and health and they are celebrated for their works.
International Men’s Day is celebrated annually worldwide on November 19 to focus on the efforts towards the welfare of men by making a positive difference and raising awareness of issues that men face.
International Men’s Day was first celebrated in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, Professor of History, University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, to commemorate his father’s birth anniversary. He further encouraged everyone to use this day to bring up issues that concern men and boys.
However, International Men’s Day was inaugurated in 1992 by Thomas Oaster. It was conceived a year earlier. The day owing to its importance was then revived in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a history lecturer at University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr Teelucksingh chose to host International Men’s Day on November 19 to mark his father’s birthday and also to celebrate how on the same date, a decade earlier (1989) Trinidad and Tobago’s soccer team had united the country to qualify for the soccer world cup.
Instead of just making this day about celebrating gender, Dr Teelucksingh promoted International Men’s Day as a day to reflect on issues affecting men and boys worldwide. The day falling on November 19 every year also coincides with Movember, where men or Mo Bros avoid shaving and grow their moustaches and beards to raise money for men’s health.
Significance and celebration:
This day is dedicated to speaking up about men’s wellbeing and health, their sexual struggles and the societal conditioning that they are subjected to. This is also the day when discrimination faced by them are spoken about and better gender relations are promised to be created. The ultimate aim of this day is to promote basic humanitarian values and awareness on men.
International Men’s Day is based on six pillars which focuses on building positive male role models – the working-class heroes of the day-today-life. It also focuses on celebrating men’s contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment. The third pillar promises to take care of men’s health and social, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. It also highlights on the discrimination faced by them in multiple spheres. International Men’s Day creates awareness on gender relations and focuses on promoting gender equality. It also promises to create a better and safer world where every being can thrive to their full potential.
International Men’s Day includes topics around mental health, toxic masculinity, prevalence of male suicide, promoting men’s health, improving gender relations, to name a few. If you are wondering how to celebrate the day, here’s an idea: On this day, donate to causes related to men’s health, or make/share posters that talk about men’s mental health and physical ailments, and join conversations on social media to spread the word.
This year’s theme for International Men’s Day is ‘Helping Men and Boys’. This day is celebrated all over the world by organising programmes and conferences where issues related to men and boys are talked about, problems are discussed and awareness is created.