International Men’s Day 2021

OV Digital Desk
5 Min Read
International Men’s Day 2021

International Men’s Day is observed every year on 19 November | Image Source:

International Men’s Day is observed every year on 19 November to bring awareness about men’s health and promote positivity about their own masculinity and the value they bring to family, societies, and communities. On a similar line, International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. The day highlights the specific disease which is excessively burdening the male counterpart and solely happening to them because of the way they are.

The official website of International Men’s Day, which is sponsored by the Australia-based Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation, lists ‘six pillars of men’s day is as follows:

  1. promoting positive male role models,
  2. focussing on men’s health,
  3. promoting gender equality and improving gender relations,
  4. celebrating positive contributions by men to society,
  5. highlighting discrimination against men, and
  6. creating a safe world.

This is always a point of discussion, and each gender has its own viewpoints about its existence. There is a question about why are males still the default subjects in medical research? On the other hand, there are the observations that men suffer comparatively more than their other counterparts in various aspects like, suicide, life expectancy, lung cancer, and heart disease. Current studies indicate that men have a suicide rate 3 times higher than women, 1 in 3 men have been the victims of domestic violence, men on average die 4-5 years before women, men are nearly twice as likely to suffer from lung cancer as women, men are nearly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease than women.

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International Men's Day Logo
International Men’s Day Logo

Both are equally right and need a discussion on the well-being of each gender and individual. For collective happiness, the cohesiveness of all genders is needed. Wangari Maathai, Kenyan social, environmental, and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize said

We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill.

The theme of International Men’s Day 2021

The day is observed to promote gender relationships and promote gender equality not only for men but for women too. In this light, the theme for International Men’s Day 2021 is “Better relations between men and women”.

History of International Men’s Day

In 1968, an American journalist named John P. Harris wrote an editorial highlighting a lack of balance in the Soviet system, which promoted an International Women’s Day for female workers but failed to deliver for a male counterpart. Harris stated that though he agreed there should be a day to celebrate women, the day served as a flaw within the communist system.

In the early 1990s, Thomas Oaster, the director of the Missouri Center for Men’s Studies, invited organizations in the U.S., Australia, and Malta to hold small International Men’s Day events during the month of February. Oaster successfully hosted these events for two years, but in 1995, the attempt was poorly attended. Discouraged, he ceased plans to continue the function. Australia followed suit, making Malta the sole country to continue the celebration. The longest-running celebration of International Men’s Day is in Malta, where events have occurred since 7 February 1994.

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In 1999, Trinidad and Tobago, Jerome Teelucksingh from the University of the West Indies revived the day. He realized that even though there was a day for fathers, there was no day to celebrate men who didn’t have kids, or who were young boys and teenagers. Teelucksingh understood the importance of positive male role models, as his father had been an excellent example for him and chose to celebrate International Men’s Day on November 19 — the day of his father’s birthday as well as the day a local soccer team had united his country with their endeavours to qualify for the world cup.

Since Teelucksingh’s revival, International Men’s Day has served to promote positive aspects of male identity based on the premise that men respond more constructively to positive role models than to negative gender stereotyping. The day is not intended to compete with International Women’s Day, but to highlight the importance of men’s physical and mental health and positive masculinity.

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