International Men's Day is celebrated every year on November 19, but unlike women’s day, there are no special celebrations done on this day. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know that there is a day dedicated especially to men. This day is observed on an annual basis to appreciate the contribution of men who positively influence their gender and act as role models, apart from highlighting and raising awareness about the issues that men face.
The prime objectives of IMD are called “The Six Pillars Of International Men’s Day” and they are:
To promote male role models
To celebrate the contribution that men make
To focus on men’s health and wellbeing
To highlight discrimination against men the inequalities that men and boys face
To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
To create a safer world for everyone
In a broader perspective, it can be said that IMD is an event that is all about promoting basic humanitarian values.
The history behind International Men's Day
While International Women’s Day was inaugurated as early as 1909, men have been demanding for an International Men's Day since 1969. Finally, International Men's Day was relaunched in the year 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, who is a doctor from Trinidad and Tobago. He chose the date of November 19 to honour his father’s birthday.
As per Dr Teelucksingh, the motive behind celebrating International Men’s Day was not only to address issues relating to men and boys but to explore and initiate conversations on taboo topics like men’s mental health and male suicide.
This discussion is extremely important because suicide has become the leading killer of men under the age of 45 globally.
What can we do to celebrate it right the right way?
This year theme’s for International Men’s Day is ‘Positive Male Role Models’, putting the spotlight on positive role models to raise awareness of men's health and well being. To celebrate this day with the right spirit we need to understand that men struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses as well.
We need to do away with the notion that men don’t cry and rather should encourage our fathers, brothers and life partners to express their emotions freely and talk about their feelings. We need to build a space where men can talk about what they are suffering from, without being judged for being sensitive.
The bottom line
Ultimately, International Men’s Day is an opportunity to have real and much-needed conversations that are crucial in letting men be whatever they want to, including being sensitive, caring and even feminine. For us, it is time to let go of all the judgment and be more open to understanding the issues men face.