International Men’s Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated every year on 19 November.The objectives of celebrating an this day, include focusing on men’s and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting male role models. It is an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values.

The date coincides with the birthday of the father of Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a doctor from Trinidad and Tobago who relaunched International Men’s Day in 1999. Since then, this day was curated and revived to build a men’s movement globally that promotes an ideology encouraging peace and resolving of disputes. The annual celebration of this day on November 19 is for a global concern for problems related to men that affect families and the rest of society. Every year this day is celebrated with a theme. In previous years some of the themes have been peace, healing and forgiveness and “Our children our future”.

This year, the theme for International Men’s Day is positive male role models. Warwick Marsh, coordinator of internationalmensday.co.uk, explains the inspiration behind this year’s chosen theme. “We have put the spotlight on positive role models to raise awareness of men’s health and wellbeing,” he says. This day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. “Organisers have also added the effect of the number of children growing up with a suitably male role model and the effect that this could have on the rest of their lives.

International Men’s Day is supported by various organizations worldwide, including the United Nations (UN) and the men’s Network. Many meetings, workshops or group gatherings are held on this day to focus on overcoming challenges such as domestic violence and drug abuse. It also explores issues like real-life options, poverty, hunger, homelessness, fatherlessness, parental alienation, mass incarceration, religious and ethnic intolerance which may prevent men and boys from living healthier, purpose-driven, and longer lives.

So, today is the time for you to make a difference in this world on International Men’s Day, to be more empathetic and open in understanding gender.

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