Today Is International Men's Day. What Is It and Why Do We Need It?

Today is International Men’s Day, which highlights positive male role models and raises awareness of the health risks men face.

“Objectives of International Men's Day include a focus on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality and highlighting positive male role models," its website says. GettyImages-110034324 A man and a young boy ride a tandem bicycle in the Argus Cycle Tour on March 13, 2011, in Cape Town. Today is International Men’s Day, which highlights positive male role models and raises awareness of the health risks men face. Getty Images

”It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions—in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them.”

The event was relaunched in 1999 by Jerome Teelucksingh, a history lecturer at the University of the West Indies. The November 19 date marks his birthday.

International Men’s Day is observed by organizations all over the world, but ironically, the event gains most attention on International Women’s Day, on March 8, when Google searches for the event spike and it trends on Twitter. The event gets less attention on the date when it actually falls.

Comedian Richard Herring has made it his mission to point out the day on Twitter, especially to men who question why there is no equivalent to International Women's Day for men.

He even tried to enlist President Donald Trump to help raise awareness of the event. 

“Hey @realDonaldTrump,” he tweeted, “can you help me out by letting your followers know that Intemational Men’s Day is November 19th. Just got a feeling that if you tweet that my workload will fall by about 12000%. Cheers. I will help you out with your wall or similar impossible task in return.”

He called on more men to support the event in an interview with the Irish Times

“A lot of men seem to think a day that isn’t directly aimed at them is an open challenge... International Women’s Day [IWD] is not against men.

“I do more than anyone to promote the day. The problem is the vast majority of men are more concerned about pointing out perceived injustices—and ignoring all the ones that make IWD so passionately supported—than doing anything on the day.”

Organizers say there were a number of ways to mark International Men’s Day.

They say the event “is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.

“Methods of commemorating International Men's Day can include public seminars, conferences, festivals and fundraisers, classroom activities at schools, radio and television programs, Church observances, and peaceful displays and marches.”

This year's theme is positive role models. 

"We have put the spotlight on positive role models to raise awareness of men's health and well-being," said Warwick Marsh, an International Men's Day coordinator. 

"International Men's Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man."

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