International Men’s Day

International Men’s Day - Tuesday, November 19, 2024

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Why We Love International Men’s Day

  1. It’s a day to celebrate all men

    The common line that “every day is International Men’s Day” may bear some truth, but the fact is, that not all men are celebrated to the same degree. International Men’s Day reminds us that there are lots of different kinds of men in the world, and they all deserve a voice.

  2. It’s a day for helping people

    Men face a lot of pressure in society—for example, they're expected to be providers, and to refrain from asking for help or sharing their feelings. International Men’s Day is all about addressing these problems and redefining masculinity.

  3. It’s All About Gender Equality

    Gender equality is always a worthy goal, and International Men’s Day reminds us to make a special effort to strive for positive relations across the entire gender spectrum.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of forty-five. This is the case in many countries worldwide, including the UK, USA, Australia, and Russia. In term of statistics it seems that more women are diagnosed with depression more often than men but that men are more likely to commit suicide. 

Clearly there are reasons for this that are particular to men. Gender, cultural conditioning, and adequate role-models are contributing factors. As many women as men may contemplate ending their own lives, but men are more likely to go through with it, and often in violent ways. This says something about the psychology, attitudes, and mental well-being of men in our communities. 

From a young age, boys are gendered in a particular way – boys will be boys, they are told, and boys don’t cry. With variation, it is a sensibility found in many cultures around the globe. As they grow up men are encouraged to present a strong, unaffected image, that often masks the deep need to communicate what is going on for them emotionally. 

It is not to say that women have an easier time than men when it comes to mental health issues, but the data shows that our cultural perspectives and expectations of gender may contribute significantly to an increased suicide rate in men. 

History Of International Men’s Day

In the early years IMD received overwhelming support in the Caribbean and due to the persistent networking and invitations sent to individuals in other nations International Men’s Day has taken root on the international scene. The Caribbean initiative is now independently celebrated in countries as diverse as Singapore, Australia, India, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Haiti, Jamaica, Hungary, Malta, Ghana, Moldova, and Canada and interest in the event is increasing rapidly.

Since 1999 the methods of commemorating International Men’s Day have included the giving and receiving of gifts, public seminars, forums, conferences, classroom activities at schools, Men’s Health events, Movember fundraisers,  radio and television programs, Parliamentary speeches, Government Observances, Church observances, prayer meetings, peaceful gatherings and marches, awards ceremonies, special retail promotions, music concerts and art displays. The manner of observing this annual day is optional; any organizations are welcome to host their events, and any appropriate forums can be used.

Why is it relevant today?

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.

Celebrate International Men’s Day

The month of November is important for the masculine soul because it gathers several events that are important to men. Movember is the month we focus on raising money for men’s health, by embracing the contemporary tradition of growing a moustache. Go to any social media page during the month of November and you are sure to encounter many friends and acquaintances updating their profile pictures and sharing donation opportunities. It is a chance to contribute to the efforts being made to improve the lives of valuable men and acknowledge the need to change some damaging attitudes. 

Remember that the day is not intended to compete against International Women’s Day, but is for the purpose of highlighting men’s experiences. It is important that we acknowledge the differences between men and women and cater to their particular needs. It’s worth noting however that neither IMD or IWD are exclusive events. These events can be celebrated by men and women who wish to raise awareness and contribute to our collective wellbeing, as well as to educate more people about the issues. 

International Men’s Day timeline


Malta makes the change

Malta, who had still been celebrating International Men's Day in February, officially switched the day to be observed in November in order to be synchronized with the rest of the world.


International Men's Day revival

Jerome Teelucksingh from Trinidad and Tobago revived International Men's Day in order to highlight positive male role models and the importance of men's health.


Men's events

Thomas Oaster invited organizations to host small Men's Day events in the U.S., Australia, and Malta.


Unequal communism 

American journalist John P. Harris wrote an editorial about how the Soviet Union celebrating International Women's Day and not having an International Men's Day went against the basic concepts of communism.

International Men’s Day FAQs

Is there an International Men's Day?

There is! International Men’s Day is celebrated annually on November 19. Its counterpart, International Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8.

How is International Men's Day celebrated?

Every year, world coordinators suggest a new theme to be focused on during International Men’s Day, such as “Working to Expand Reproductive Options for Men” in 2015 or “Keeping Men and Boys Safe” in 2013.

What does International Men's Day mean?

The purpose of International Men’s Day is to raise awareness to men’s mental and physical health, promote positive masculinity, and support ethical male role models.

Also on Tue Nov 19, 2024...