International Men’s Day (IMD) is celebrated on 19 November every year
|| Bidyot Bhowmik ||
International Men’s Day (IMD) is an annual event celebrated on 19 November every year globally by UNESCO. It is an international event to celebrate boys and men’s vital achievements and necessary contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care and to the environment. It is now celebrated in more than 80 countries. The main objectives of celebrating an International Men’s Day include, focusing on men’s and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting male role models. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values by providing assistance to other human beings in order to uphold humanity.
Citizens in Trinidad and Tobago were the first to observe International Men’s Day on 19 November 1999. The event was conceived and coordinated by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh from The University of the West Indies at the Families in Action headquarters in Newtown, Port of Spain. As his rationale for creating the event Dr. Teelucksingh stated, “I realized there was no day for men… some have said that there is Father’s Day, but what about young boys, teenagers and men who are not fathers?” Dr. Teelucksingh, understanding the importance of celebrating good male role models, felt that his own father had been an example of an excellent role model and so chose 19 November partly because this was his father’s birthday, and also because it was the date on which a local sporting team in his country created a level of unity with transcended gender, religious and ethnic divisions. The idea of celebrating an International Men’s Day received written support from officials in UNESCO and the event has continued to be celebrated annually in Trinidad and Tobago and other countries since its beginning. In November 2009 Dr. Teelucksingh and other members of the IMD Coordination Committee (no longer in place) formally ratified the core objectives of International Men’s Day. The Objectives were ratified to protect the central values of International Men’s Day (IMD) and to offer a reliable reference point for future celebrants. These are considered to be the core objectives of International Men’s Day (IMD) founded upon six pillars, namely:
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, 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 males; 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.
Better health for men and boys is the 2020 theme for International Men’s Day. Mutuality of understanding and respect between men and women by improving gender relations as well as by promoting gender equality will surely help peace, prosperity and stability every where in the world.
Source: Wikipedia and UNESCO
Writer, columnist and advisor to CBNA, Montreal, Canada, 19th November 2020