International Men’s Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated on 19 November. Inaugurated on February 7, 1992 by Professor Thomas Oaster, the project was re-initialised in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. The longest running celebration of International Men’s Day is Malta, where events have occurred since February 7, 1994.
International Men’s Day, now standardised globally as 19 November finds support from a variety of individuals and groups in Australia, the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Director of Women and Culture of Peace Ingeborg Breines said of IMD, “This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance.” She added that UNESCO was looking forward to cooperating with the organizers.
Objectives of International Men’s Day include a focus on men’s and boy’s health, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive aspects of male experience. It is an occasion for men to highlight discrimination against them and to celebrate their achievements and contributions. November 19 is a significant date as it interfaces with the WhiteRibbon.org campaign to stop violence against all people, the popular ‘Movember’ charity event and also with Universal Children’s Day on Nov 20 with which IMD forms a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively.
During the past ten years methods of commemorating International Men’s Day have included public seminars, classroom activities at schools, radio and television programs, Church observances, and peaceful displays and marches. The manner of observing this annual day is optional; any organizations are welcome to host their own events and any appropriate forums can be used. Early pioneers of IMD reminded that the day is not intended to compete against International Woman’s Day, but is for the purpose of highlighting men’s experiences. Each year secondary themes are suggested, such as peace in 2002, men’s health in 2003, or Tackling society’s tolerance of violence against men and boys in 2013, although it is not compulsory to adopt these themes and participants are welcome to come up with their own to suit local needs and concerns. In consultation with organizers from other nations IMD observes the following shared objectives which are applied equally to men and boys irrespective of their age, ability, social background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious belief and relationship status:
■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, relationships, child care, and to the environment.
■To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical.
■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 live free from harm and grow to reach their full potential
International Men’s Day is celebrated in over 70 countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, India, Italy, United States, New Zealand, Brazil, Moldova, Haiti, St. Ketts and Nevis, Portugal, Singapore, Malta, South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe, Croatia, Uganda, Chile, Hungary, Ireland, Peru, Canada, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Guyana, Netherlands, Belgium, Georgia, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom. Join us on November 19 in celebrating men, along with the contributions make to those around them, to their family and friends, their work place and the community, the nations and the world.
The International Men’s Day Global Website (est. 2007) is the longest running IMD website in the world. Please feel free to roam and read the IMD history sections or the upcoming events pages. Anyone is welcome to quote material from this website (attribution to this website is required), or download and use any of our free IMD Logos.