It was on March 8th this year when I shared a blog regarding International Women’s Day in my school’s WhatsApp group when one of my friends who happens to be a victim of misandry raised objections on the content of my blog expressing his gynocentric opinion that women, in any case, deserves respect and must be allowed special status! But rest of the members in the group asked an inquisitive question why interested in women’s day when there isn’t any day for men and their contribution to the world and society is intentionally ignored, and there is nowhere any discussion for men’s rights amid gender-politics of hollow feminism?
The query raised is fine too especially in the scenario where a common aware man with normal prudence understands that average life expectancy for men is lower than that of women; the rate of suicide of men is around thrice the rate of suicide of women; a large majority per cent of rough sleepers are men; almost 96 per cent of the prison population is male; around 60% murder victims are male; that large majority of school dropout children in India are boys; that women are more likely to go to university than men and that majority of people who die at work are male, apart from all the issues men in India face!
I asked my friends to relax and informed them that November 19th is your day, i.e. International Men's Day, and this time it’ll be 28th year since the first International Men’s Day was celebrated in Malta, and it’ll be 21st year since IMD was reinitiated in Trinidad and Tobago.
Also discussed with them the aim of celebrating International Men's Day; to encourage men, women and children to recognize the positive contribution of men and the impact thereof on the society, to improve gender relations, to focus on men’s health and wellbeing issues!
About the day
It was on March 19th 1911 that International Women's Day was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, later in 1913, it was transferred/rescheduled to for March 8th each year, and it has been celebrated on that day ever since. Also, the day was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1975.
In 1968 the US journalist John P Harris wrote about the lack of an equivalent day for men in the Salina Journal, saying: "This strikes me as unwarranted discrimination and rank injustice", as an expression that men are feeling left behind!
It was only in 1999 that the International Men’s Day began to take shape. Jerome Teelucksingh, a history lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, organised events for International Men's Day, holding the day on his father's birthday.
The day has gone from strength to strength and now aims to address six key issues, also known as 'the 6 Pillars of International Men’s Day'. These are:
To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but every day, working-class men who are living decent, honest lives
To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social
attitudes and expectations, and law
To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential
This year's IMD
Each year a theme is assigned to the event. The theme for 2020 is the idea of “Better Health for Men and Boys”. The theme promotes the need to value men and boys and help people make practical improvements in men and boy’s health and well-being.
This International Men’s Day, Save Indian Family Movement and all associated NGOs including Daaman strive to give hope to the depressed, faith to the lonely, comfort to the broken-hearted, transcend barriers, eliminate stereotypes and create more caring humanity.