Today (March 8) marks International Women’s Day – a day for celebrating women's achievement, heightening awareness of bias and taking action for equality.
Some men are marking the day by demanding an International Men’s Day.
Some men might feel embarrassed to find out that there already is an International Men’s Day.
Some men can read the following article to find out all they need to know about their special day.
When is International Men’s Day?
International Men’s Day, also known as Men’s Day, is marked on November 19.
The day has been celebrated in some form since 1992.
What are the origins of International Men’s Day?
The first IMD was officially celebrated on 19 November 1999.
Dr Jerome Teelucksingh,a lecturer from Trinidad and Tobago is the founder of the celebration and decided upon the date as it was his father’s birthday.
Today, the celebration of men and boys and their diversity is celebrated annually on 19 November across 80 countries, including the UK.
Was the celebration set up in opposition to International Women’s Day?
There have been calls for an equivalent celebration of men since the founding of International Women’s Day.
But organisers of International Men’s Day are keen to underlined that the date is not in opposition to the celebration of women.
A statement on the official IMD site underlines this, readng: “early pioneers of IMD remind everyone that the day is not intended to compete against International Woman’s Day, but is for the purpose of highlighting men’s experiences.”
What does International Men’s Day stand for?
The day is built upon the six pillars:
- To promote positive male role models
- 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
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
- To create a safer, better world for men to live in
IMD is a day of recognising the positive contributions of men to society - not only famous celebrities, inventors and other public figures - but fathers, sons, uncles and friends.
It’s also a day to acknowledge the need to destigmatise mental health issues among men, and highlight the ways in which society can do better to support them.
What is International Women’s Day?
First celebrated in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the achievements of women - whether that be social, economic, cultural or political.
It’s also a time for commemorating women who have made history and nodding to those who continue to champion gender equality for future generations.
But perhaps most significantly, the political roots of the day mean strikes and protests are organised to highlight continued inequality across the world.
Despite there being more gender equality than ever before in 2021, the IWD website concludes that there is still “urgent work to do”.
And data from UN Women has revealed that the coronavirus pandemic could wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality.
Women are doing more domestic chores and family care due to lockdown restrictions, which in turn can impact upon career and education opportunities.
According to the World Economic Forum, “gender parity will not be attained for almost a century”.
It says: “None of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children".