International Men’s Day: Current Theme, History and Celebrations
As we know that International Women's Day is observed on 8 March globally. In the same way, there is a day for Men’s which is also observed worldwide. This day highlight the positive difference that men bring to the world, communities and to their families. It also raises awareness about men's well-being and issues that men face on a global scale.
International Men's Day 2019: Theme
The theme for International Men’s Day 2019 is “Making a Difference for Men and Boys”. It focuses on the need to value men and boys and to help people who make practical improvements in the health and well-being of men's and boys globally.
International Men's Day: History
International Men's Day was established by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in 1999. He was a lecturer of History at the University of the West Indies. Since 1960's people were trying to celebrate International Men's Day equivalent to International Women's Day. They wanted to celebrate it on 23 February.
Organisations in the United States, Europe and Australia in the early 1990s held small events in February at the invitation of Thomas Oaster who directed the Missouri Center for Men's Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He successfully promoted the event in 1994 but in 1995, the event was not successful. Then, on 19 November, 2003, the Maltese Association for Men's Rights continued to observe the event each year in February. The Maltese AMR Committee in 2009 voted to shift the date to 19 November at the request of Australian International Men’s Day organisers.
Note: The Australian and fathers advocates are the same group who founded the International Men’s Day current website www.internationalmensday.com.
The organisers of the Australian IMD brought several other countries together to celebrate the date of November and as a result, it was inaugurated in Trinidad and Tobago by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh in 1999. Dads4kids in 2008 historically celebrated at the NSW state parliament and also did the same in 2013 in the federal parliament in Canberra, Australia.
One thing which is important to note is that International Men's Day as a global celebration owes a huge debt to Indian Men’s Advocate and mother of two Uma Challa. In 2007, the single-handedly pioneered the celebration of International Men's Day to raise awareness about the shocking abuse that men suffer in the anti-male legal system. Do you know that Uma Challa established various organisations including "Save the Indian Family Foundation" etc? She is also one of the instigators for an International Boys Day. It was Umma Challa who inspired the founder of Dads4Kids i.e. Warwick Marsh to take an International Men's Day celebration globally and also focus the celebration towards the men’s movement around the world.
International Men's Day: Celebration
It is celebrated in a number of ways including public seminars, activities in classrooms to promote the day. Panel discussions and lectures, award ceremonies, art exhibitions are also held to bring attention to the day. Every year, this day is celebrated with a particular theme.
Therefore, International Men's Day is celebrated on 19 November every year with an objective to improve men's and boy's health, improve gender relations, to promote gender equality and to highlight the positive role of male models.