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.
It was first celebrated in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, Professor of History, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, to commemorate his father’s birth anniversary. He further encouraged everyone to use the 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.
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.
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.