Mens Day or International Mens Day (IMD) is celebrated annually on November 19 around the globe. It is celebrated to recognize as well as celebrate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of men. Not just men, but this day also celebrates the achievements and contributions of boys. Moreover, Mens Day celebrates their contributions to the nation, union, society, community, family, marriage, and childcare. Furthermore, the ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values as well as awareness of men's issues. Nowadays, in order to promote equality of women and spreading awareness about their issues, people are forgetting about men’s own issues that they also face in this society. Thus, Men’s Day is celebrated to point out those issues to the world.
International Mens Day is founded upon 6 pillars and the objectives of celebrating this special day are all set out in these six pillars. In November 2009, Dr. Teelucksingh and other members of the IMD Coordination Committee formally agreemented the core objectives of International Mens Day. The objectives which were agreemented are to protect the central values of IMD and to offer a reliable reference point for future celebrants. The six pillars of IMD are:
These 6 pillars are considered to be the core objectives of celebrating International Mens Day.
International Mens Day was inaugurated on February 07, 1992, by Thomas Oaster. Although, the project of International Men's Day was already conceived one year earlier on February 08, 1991. The project was re-initialized in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. The longest running celebration of IMD is in Malta where events have occurred since February 07, 1994. Malta was the only country that observed the February date of celebrating Men and their contribution to society. Thus, in 2009, the Maltese AMR Committee voted to shift the date for IMD to November 19.
Jerome Teelucksingh, who revived the event, chose November 19 to honor his father's birthday and also to celebrate how on that date in 1989 Trinidad and Tobago's football team had united the country with their endeavors to qualify for the World Cup. Teelucksingh has promoted International Men's Day as not just a gendered day but a day where all issues affecting men and boys can be addressed.
The inaugural celebration of IMD in India was organized by the leading Indian Men's rights organization Indian Family on November 19, 2007. The November 19 date was accepted based on the fact that Australia and the West Indies were already celebrating Mens Day on that date. The event was again celebrated in India in the year 2008 and plans were made to continue the Mes Day celebration annually.
In 2009, India received the first corporate sponsorship of the International Men's Day with menswear brand Allen Solly deciding to create promotional offers on IMD. Furthermore, HBO also decided to screen male-positive movies in its "Men in Black" series on November 19. In 2014, Confidare Education Consultancy hosted an International Men's Day art gallery in New Delhi while in Kolkata protests were held to highlight men's rights and abuse of the elderly. Other men's rights activists posed questions on the occasion of IMD. They were questioning the lack of gender neutrality in laws about domestic violence and child custody. The Chennai chapter of All India Men's Welfare Association (AIMWA) submitted a memorandum to the government on IMD 2014, demanding the establishment of a Men's Welfare Ministry, National Commission for Men, and making all laws gender neutral.
In 2018, Avijan which is a welfare and charitable trust for men organized a protest in Kolkata to demand gender neutrality in law, a men's commission in India, repealing of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, and strong action against misuse of the rape law.
An NGO named Save Indian Family - Karnataka (SIF Karnataka) working for Men's Rights in India under Save Indian Family Movement and celebrates International Men's Day every year. In 2019, in association with two major hospitals of Bangalore, Aster Hospitals and Regal Hospital, it ran a campaign on prostate cancer awareness. In 2017 and 2018, among many other awareness activities, the volunteers organized a bike rally to Nandi Hills, India and celebrated International Men's Day with more than 40,000 people present.
Daaman Welfare Society & Trust, another prominent NGO working on the same principles under the Save Indian Family Movement, also celebrates International Men's Day every year. In 2019, it hosted a day long grand event at Rave 3 Mall in Kanpur and created awareness on International Men's Day. The need for a National Men's Commission was also discussed.
Along with the six core objectives, world coordinators also suggest an optional secondary theme for International Men’s Day. For examples:
2011 - Giving Boys the Best Possible Start in Life
In 2011, the theme for International Men's Day was 'boys' with the title, "Giving Boys the Best Possible Start in Life".
2012 - Helping Men and Boys Live Longer, Happier and Healthier Lives
The theme for 2012 was 'health' with the title "Helping Men and Boys Live Longer, Happier and Healthier Lives".
2013 - Keeping Men and Boys Safe
The theme for 2013 as nominated by the IMD Coordination Committee is, "Keeping Men and Boys Safe". The 2013 Press Release asks, "People all over the world are used to relating to men as protectors and providers, but how often do we consider the actions we can all take to protect Men and Boys from harm and provide them with a safe world where they can thrive and prosper?"
2014 - Working Together for Men and Boys
The theme of International Men's Day in 2014 was "Working Together for Men and Boys".
2015 - Working to Expand Reproductive Options for Men
The International Men's Day theme for 2015 was "Working to Expand Reproductive Options for Men".
2016 - Stop Male Suicide
The theme for 2016's International Men's Day was "Stop Male Suicide". In every country except China, the rate of suicide in men is higher than that of women, in some cases as high as six men for every one woman, and life expectancy is routinely less for men than women in all countries. To this end, "Global Action on Men’s Health (GAMH) wants the World Health Organization and other international public health bodies, as well as individual governments, to acknowledge the scale of the problems facing men and boys and to take sustained action to tackle them. This work should sit alongside continuing action to improve the health of women and girls." Glen Poole, an IMD coordinator wrote a book entitled "How You Can Stop Male Suicide in 7 Simple Steps", summarized with the motto "Learn, love, listen".
2017 - Celebrating Men And Boys In All Their Diversity
In March 2017, the theme of "Celebrating Men And Boys In All Their Diversity" was announced by the Global and Regional Coordinators. The emphasis on "A Call To Action for individuals, institutions, and organizations to innovate the manner in which they design and deliver resources and support services which speak to the unique needs and issues of men and boys".
2018 - Positive Male Role Models
The theme of 2018's International Men's Day was "Positive Male Role Models", and focused on giving men and boys good positive role models to look up to.
2019 - Making a Difference for Men and Boys
The theme of 2019's International Men's Day was "Making a Difference for Men and Boys," and focused on promoting the need to value men and boys and help people make practical improvements in men and boy's health and well-being.
2020 - Better Health for Men and Boys
The 2020 theme is "Better Health for Men and Boys" with the aim to make practical improvements to the health and wellbeing of the male population.
Mens Day is celebrated to recognize the contributions of men towards the nation, union, society, community, family, marriage, as well as childcare. Furthermore, it is also celebrated to make people aware of various issues that men tackle. Just like Womens Day, Mens Day is perfect to make any special man in your life happy. You can make him realize how important he is in your life. Moreover, you can make him feel loved as well as wanted. Whether that special man is your dad, husband, boyfriend, brother, grandfather, or anyone, you can make him feel special on the day of Mens Day.