International Men’s Day 2021: quotes from inspirational men, 2021’s theme and how to wish a happy Men’s Day

Here’s why we celebrate International Men’s Day on 19 November and quotes from inspirational men like Marcus Rashford, Barack Obama and John Lennon

International Men’s Day aims to both shine a light on the positive impact of men and provide support for them (image: Shutterstock)

Every year on 19 November, the world marks International Men’s Day.

Rather than celebrating men to the exclusion of others, the ultimate aim of the awareness day is to create a safer, better world for everyone.

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The event is a companion to International Women’s Day.

So what exactly is International Men’s Day and what’s the theme of 2021’s event?

Here’s what you need to know.

International Men’s Day aims to both shine a light on the positive impact of men and provide support for them (image: Shutterstock)

What is International Men’s day?

International Men’s Day is an awareness day that attempts to promote six key goals:

  • To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives
  • To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment
  • To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual
  • To highlight discrimination against men; 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 be safe and grow to reach their full potential

It was founded in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago with backing from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It has become a key forum for raising awareness of issues which particularly affect men.

For example, among other things, in the UK the event addresses the high rate of suicide among men, their shorter life expectancy more generally and violence and abuse.

International Men’s Day seeks to get people to reflect on the positive contributions men can make to society (image: Shutterstock)

Theme of International Men’s Day 2021

The theme of International Men’s Day 2021 is - ‘Better relations between men and women’.

This theme is also one of the key pillars of the International Men’s Day movement.

“International Men’s Day (IMD) promotes the need to value manhood and womanhood and help people make practical improvements for positive relationships between the sexes,” said the event’s coordinator Warwick Marsh.

“We thank all our IMD Brothers and our new IMD Sisters for their support and help as together we make the world a better place.”

The organisers of the UK event urged people to encourage the men and boys in their lives to seek help if they think it’s needed (image: Shutterstock)

The UK version of the event also has its own three goals:

  • Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
  • Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity
  • Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing

The UK organisers suggest marking International Men’s day by: highlighting serious issues faced by men, encouraging and supporting men to seek help if they need it, and raising money for charity.

With this year’s theme in mind, here are some quotes from inspirational men about striving for unity and kindness - not just between men and women but between all human beings:

“At a time I’ve been asking people to come together, work together and be united, we appear to me more divided than ever. People are hurting and people need answers. Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter.” - Marcus Rashford

"I got no time to hate people who hate me. I am too busy loving the people who love me." - RuPaul

“Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” - John Lennon

“We, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defence.” - Barack Obama

"We have black brothers and sisters dying in the States and we’d be cowards to just brush it off, this is all of our problems. That could easily be me or my little brother or my sisters, I ain’t waiting for this poisonous, weak, racist, trigger happy mentality to spread around the world before we do something." - Stormzy

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.” - Robin Williams

“My parents raised me to treat people the way you would want to be treated and to be polite. Sometimes, when I get nervous or insecure, I might overcompensate and might not be totally true to what I am feeling inside. But I get nervous and maybe too smiley and polite.” - Paul Rudd

“You have a choice where you can either be alright to someone or you can be a little bit nicer, and that can make someone’s day.” - Harry Styles

“I say to my children, the reason that marriage - and having children - is so important is that it stops you thinking about yourself. The way to happiness is to give yourself to others and to think of others before you think of yourself.” - Terry Wogan

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” - Martin Luther King Jr

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