It’s International Men’s Day 2019, which is the perfect excuse to take time time to think about gender equality and the struggles men and boys can face.
These include a shorter life expectancy and a high suicide rate. Rather than being the opposite of International Women’s Day, International Men’s Day seeks to raise awareness about these important issues and more, and work against damaging gender stereotypes that harm us all.
What is International Men’s Day all about?
International Men’s Day was first marked in 1992 and has grown since then to be celebrated in over 70 countries all over the world.
There were six goals at the core of International Men’s Day at the time it was founded. They are:
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, working-class men who are living decent, honest lives.
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, childcare, 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.
The UK International Men’s Day website now states that the aim of the day is to focus on ‘how we can make a difference to men and boys, and, how we can give men and boys better life chances’ by addressing issues such as men’s health, the high male suicide rate, male victims of violence (including sexual violence), the challenges faced by fathers and male victims of sexual abuse, domestic abuse and rape.
The theme of the day is the same every year: ‘Making A Difference for Men and Boys’.
When is International Women’s Day?
On the flip side of the same coin is International Women’s Day, which takes place each year on 8 March.
In 2020, that will fall on a Sunday, and the theme will be Each for Equal.
It’s a day for marking the achievements of women all over the world and serves as a call to action for everyone to strive for gender equality.
International Men’s Day quotes and memes
‘A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.’ – Barack Obama
‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ – Martin Luther King Junior
‘Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.’ – Bill Clinton
We take care of our dental health. We don’t take care of our mental health … I think the solution to making the world better is if we would just be healthy, mentally.’ – Howie Mandel