International Men’s Day is a global initiative inaugurated in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999 to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices that men make to families, to nations, and to the world. It has since been observed in over 80 nations around the world.
The focus of International Men’s Day is not restricted to men, but includes boys, women, teenagers and children. The underlying message is that ongoing conflict among men, women and children must cease and the healing must begin. The observances of International Men’s Day are part of a global non-violent revolution. It is annually observed by persons who support the ongoing effort to improve lives, heal scars and seemingly irreparable troubled minds, seek solutions to social problems, help the dysfunctional, promote positive role models in society and develop wholesome individuals. Such developments are badly needed in today’s wounded communities which reflect distorted and outdated beliefs and constant clashes among men, women and children which unravel the fabric of the family and society.
Annual themes of International Men’s Day have focused on health, gender relations and fatherhood. Also discussed are themes relating to gender inequality, religion, class, violence, ethnicity, poverty, environmental protection and nationalism. The philosophy underlying International Men’s Day is much more than optimistic thinking and rhetoric; it is a way of life, a world view, an alternative peace model designed so that the next generation will nurture and continue to sow the seeds of tolerance, acceptance and harmony.
The first objective is to promote positive male role models. Secondly, to celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and preservation of the environment. Thirdly, to focus on men’s health including their social, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Fourthly, to highlight discrimination against men such as in court cases when the role of a father is not considered in the upbringing of his daughter or son. The fifth objective struck a chord among feminists – the improvement of gender relations and promotion of gender equality. Finally, International Men’s Day is creating a safer and better world; where people grow to reach their full potential. International Men’s Day helps many people to understand boys, fatherhood and improve gender relations.
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