International Men's Day: History, Significance, Celebration and Activities
When is international Men's Day?
International Men’s Day is observed on November 19, although when the holiday was first created it was celebrated in February.
History of International Men's Day
International Men's Day was established by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in 1999. He was a lecturer of History at the University of the West Indies. Since 1960's people were trying to celebrate International Men's Day equivalent to International Women's Day. They wanted to celebrate it on 23 February.
Organisations in the United States, Europe and Australia in the early 1990s held small events in February at the invitation of Thomas Oaster who directed the Missouri Center for Men's Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He successfully promoted the event in 1994 but in 1995, the event was not successful. Then, on 19 November, 2003, the Maltese Association for Men's Rights continued to observe the event each year in February. The Maltese AMR Committee in 2009 voted to shift the date to 19 November at the request of Australian International Men’s Day organisers, as jagranjosh previously stated.
The organisers of the Australian IMD brought several other countries together to celebrate the date of November and as a result, it was inaugurated in Trinidad and Tobago by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in 1999. Dads4kids in 2008 historically celebrated at the NSW state parliament and also did the same in 2013 in the federal parliament in Canberra, Australia.
One thing which is important to note is that International Men's Day as a global celebration owes a huge debt to Indian Men’s Advocate and mother of two Uma Challa. In 2007, the single-handedly pioneered the celebration of International Men's Day to raise awareness about the shocking abuse that men suffer in the anti-male legal system. Do you know that Uma Challa established various organisations including "Save the Indian Family Foundation" etc? She is also one of the instigators for an International Boys Day. It was Umma Challa who inspired the founder of Dads4Kids i.e. Warwick Marsh to take an International Men's Day celebration globally and also focus the celebration towards the men’s movement around the world.
Why is International Men’s Day celebrated?
International Men’s Day seeks to raise awareness about mental health issues in men, as well as other health and societal issues, by encouraging men to open up and communicate with others. The traditional ideas of what masculinity means in society is changing, and needs to change, if vulnerable men are to be protected from these harmful conditions.
As stereotypes and discrimination start to break down in our culture there is an emerging need for boys and young men to identify with positive role models that embody the true qualities of masculinity. Those of kindness, generosity, inner strength, and natural, open communication. International Men’s Day, and the month of November, is an excellent opportunity in our global culture to present the true face of masculinity to those who need to see it.
There are many high-profile men now embracing International Men’s Day, opening up channels of communication and taking responsibility for presenting this new wave of masculinity.
International Men’s Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we seek.” It is only when we all, both men and women, lead by example that we will create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to prosper, cites day of the year.
International Men's Day: Celebration
It is celebrated in a number of ways including public seminars, activities in classrooms to promote the day. Panel discussions and lectures, award ceremonies, art exhibitions are also held to bring attention to the day. Every year, this day is celebrated with a particular theme.
Therefore, International Men's Day is celebrated on 19 November every year with an objective to improve men's and boy's health, improve gender relations, to promote gender equality and to highlight the positive role of male models.
International Men's Day Activities
1. Donate to a men’s charity
There are lots of charities dedicated to helping men live better lives. The Gay Men’s Health Crisis helps to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and to help those who are afflicted with HIV improve their health and independence. (Despite the name, it also provides assistance to straight men). The Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation helps to raise awareness of testicular cancer and highlight the importance of self-examination. And the ManKind Initiative is dedicated to helping men escape and recover from domestic violence and abuse.
2. Learn more about lesser known influential men
Consider picking up a book or watching a movie about an exceptional man whose life and work is still making an impact on the world today. The Black American Experience tells the story of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the second man in history (and the first black man) to perform a successful open-heart surgery. The Imitation Game is a moving and dramatic portrait of Alan Turing, the man who invented modern computing and helped end World War Two. Which influential men would you like to learn more about?
3. Check in with the men in your life
Building positive relationships with men is a lofty goal, but it does have humble beginnings. Check in with your male family members and friends, and see how they’re doing. If we’re happy at home, that’s half the battle, according to Nationaltoday.
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