Gentlemen, raise your hand if you just found out about International Men’s Day? In fact, there is such a celebration and it’s celebrated on November 19th. It’s not surprising you didn’t know about it since it’s not widely known but now you’ll learn why it should be.
To begin, what is International Men’s Day?
On November 19th it celebrates and fosters the development of men’s identity and well-being. Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, a History Professor at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, inaugurated the event in 1999 with a public seminar on domestic violence and crimes.
Unlike other annual commemorations such as Father’s Day, International Men’s Day emphasizes the specific contributions men as role models have made to society.
The event is honored in more than eighty countries including the United States, Spain, Columbia, Austria and in Mexico as well where Kaloni, a specialized center in integral men’s health care, is also present.
Why isn’t International Men’s Day more widespread?
We’re aware, for example, that while International Women’s Day has a number of worldwide public and private campaigns; Men’s Day is hardly even acknowledged in the public and private sectors. But why?
It’s not because women’s rights are more important than men’s, but simply because of the degree of official recognition. International Women’s Day has been formally approved by UNESCO yet International Men’s Day still hasn’t.
Well, is International Men’s Day official then?
Yes, it is. Year after year, some worldwide private entities continue to officially acknowledge it. Yet there is an undeniable need to grant it broader social acceptance.
For example, the World Health Organization and the Panamerican Health Organization recognize its importance and have joined efforts to promote it. UNESCO officially designates November 19th as World Toilet Day, which has led to limited support at all levels.
Nevertheless society still stands in need of it and there is some progress. It’s not a battle between the sexes but rather an effort to highlight men’s contributions and vulnerabilities.
What are International Men’s Day’s principal goals?
Dr. Teelucksingh together with other Coordinating Committee members established the principal goals listed on the official International Men’s Day web page in November 2009.
There are six statutes, also known as the six pillars, to uphold the International Men’s Day core values and to serve as sure points of reference in the future:
- To promote male role models who embody upright and honest lives
- To celebrate men’s social contributions to the community, the family, the institution of marriage, the rearing of children and a safe environment for them
- To support men’s emotional, physical and spiritual health and well-being
- To highlight discrimination against men in social services, expectations and laws
- To improve relationships between genders and to foster gender equality
- To create a safer and better world that allows all to reach their full potential
How can we celebrate International Men’s Day?
If you’re asking what you can do, the answer is simple. Begin by sharing this information with your friends, family and co-workers. Let’s create a sense of community that will allow us to further celebrate the unique aspects of being men.
You can also keep informed through social networks where public seminars, academic activities and commercial events are promoted. There are now even award ceremonies, concerts and art exhibitions organized.
On November 19th a number of associations hold events to celebrate men’s contributions to society and others to promote their physical, mental and emotional health as well as gender equality and male role models.
From our Kaloni clinics we join the celebration of International Men’s Day not just for the day but for the whole month of November because you deserve it. Let’s celebrate!