International Men's Day

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International Men's Day
Observed by Organizations in: Trinidad and Tobago, India, Jamaica, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, China, United States, Romania, Singapore, Malta, United Kingdom, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Seychelles, Burundi, Hungary, Ireland,Lithuania, Isle of Man, Ghana, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, France, Italy, Pakistan, Grenada, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Cayman Islands.
Type Civil awareness day
Men and boys day
Anti-sexism day
Date 19 November
Next time 19 November 2023 (2023-11-19)
Frequency annual
Related to Father's Day, Universal Children's Day, International Women's Day

International Men's Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated on 19 November. Inaugurated in 1992 on 7 February by Prof Thomas Oaster,[1] the project was re-initialised in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago.[2] The longest running celebration of International men's day is Malta, where events have occurred since 7 February 1994.[3]

International Men's Day finds support from a variety of individuals and groups in Australia, the Caribbean, North America, Asia, Europe and Africa.[2][4] Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Director of Women and Culture of Peace Ingeborg Breines said of IMD, "This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance." She added that UNESCO was looking forward to cooperating with the organizers.[2]

The objectives of celebrating an International Men's Day include focusing on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.[5][6] 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.[7][8] The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values.[9][10]

International Men's Day is celebrated in over 70 countries,[5] including Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burundi, Canada, the Cayman Islands, China, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Ghana, Grenada, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Malta, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zimbabwe, on 19 November, and global support for the celebration is broad.[5] International Men's Day followed by Universal Children's Day on 20 November form a 48-hour celebration of men and children respectively.


Early background

International Men's Day symbol

Calls for an International Men's Day have been noted since at least the 1960s, when "many men" were reported to "have been agitating privately to make 23 Feb International Men's Day, the equivalent of 8 March, which is International Women's Day"[11] In the Soviet Union this day was The Red Army and Navy Day since 1922, which was later renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day. The date was informally viewed a male counterpart of Women's Day (8 March) in some territories of the Union, however due to the day's limited focus to historical events some countries of the former union have moved to adopt the more 'male specific' 19 November as International Men's Day, including Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia and Georgia.[10]

In 1968 American Journalist John P. Harris wrote an editorial in the Salina Journal highlighting a lack of balance in the Soviet system, which promoted an International Women's Day for the female workers without promoting a corresponding day for male workers. Harris stated that although he did not begrudge Soviet women their March day of glory, its resulting gender inequality clearly exhibited a serious flaw in the Communist system, which, "makes much of the equal rights it has given the sexes, but as it turns out, the women are much more equal than the men."[12] Harris stated that while the men toiled along in their grooves doing what their government and womenfolk tell them to do, there was no day when males are recognised for their service, leading Harris to conclude that "This strikes me as unwarranted discrimination and rank injustice."[12] Similar questions about the inequality of observing women's day without a corresponding men's day occurred in media publications from the 1960s through to the 1990s,[13][14][15] at which time the first attempts at inaugurating international Men's Day are recorded.[10]

In the early 1990s, organizations in the United States, Australia and Malta held small events in February at the invitation of Professor Thomas Oaster who directed the Missouri Center for Men's Studies at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.[1] Oaster successfully promoted the event in 1993 and 1994, but his following attempt in 1995 was poorly attended and he ceased plans to continue the event in subsequent years.[16] Australians also ceased to observe the event (until they re-established it on 19 November 2003) whilst the Maltese Association for Men's Rights continued as the only country that continued to observe the event each year in February.[10] As the only remaining country still observing the original February date, the Maltese AMR Committee voted in 2009 to shift the date of their observation to 19 November to be in synchrony with all other countries which had begun to celebrate IMD on that date.[2][10]

Although International Men's and Women's Day are considered to be 'gender focussed' events, they are not ideological mirror images because they highlight issues that are considered unique to men or to women.[10] The history of IMD primarily concerns celebrating issues that are considered unique to men's and boys experiences, along with the emphasis on positive role models "is deemed necessary in a social context which is often fascinated with images of males behaving badly... In highlighting positive male role models IMD attempts to show that males of all ages respond much more energetically to positive role models than they do to negative stereotyping."[17]

Trinidad and Tobago

Citizens in Trinidad and Tobago were the first to observe IMD on 19 November 1999. The event was conceived and coordinated by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh from The University of the West Indies at the Families in Action headquarters in Newtown, Port of Spain. As his rationale for creating the event Teelucksingh stated, "I realized there was no day for men... some have said that there is Father's Day, but what about young boys, teenagers and men who are not fathers?"[10] Dr. Teelucksingh, understanding the importance of celebrating good male role models, felt that his own father had been an example of an excellent role model and so chose 19 November partly because this was his father's birthday, and also because it was the date on which a local sporting team in his country created a level of unity which transcended gender, religious and ethnic divisions.[18] The idea of celebrating an International Men's Day received written support from officials in UNESCO and the event has continued to be celebrated annually in Trinidad and Tobago and other countries since its beginning.[2][19][20][21]


Jamaicans held an inaugural IMD observation on 19 November 2001, with a church service at Northgate Family Church in Ocho Rios, an educational session with male students at Ferncourt High School, and public forum at Brown's Town Community College. Keynote speaker at the event was Luciano who talked on the theme of 'Today's Man, Tomorrow's Future'. A special theme of the event was discussions on men's sexual health and reproduction. Nurse Bunnaman of the Beth Jacobs Family Planning Clinic in St. Ann's Bay told The Star Newspaper "This is the first time that Jamaica will be observing International Men's Day. It was started in Trinidad in 1999. This year it will be observed in Kenya, Tanzania, Norway, Brazil, Germany, Britain and the United States of America as well".[22] Educational sessions about men's sexual health and reproduction were held the Beth Jacobs Clinic, where medical check-ups and testicular checks were given free of charge.[23]


Australians have celebrated IMD on 19 November since 2003,[10] when Phil Gouldson of Men's Health and Wellbeing Association ACT (MHWA) launched the inaugural event after receiving an invitation by Trinidad and Tobago's Harrack Balramsingh to join in the event.[24] In Canberra, 2004, Mr. Gouldson asked men in Australia to wear a red rose for IMD and for women and families to buy the men in their life flowers. He said a red rose is worn by men on IMD as a symbol of strength of character and courage, and as it is unusual to see men being given flowers so it is a good way to highlight the occasion.[25] In 2004, Michael Flood, a pro-feminist academic criticized the basis of the 'Men's Health and Wellbeing Association' (MHWA)'s IMD celebration which focused on men's health, arguing that there were already enough opportunities to work on men's health and fatherhood (citing Father's Day and Men's Health Week).[26] Mr. Gouldson responded, reminding that "Not all men and boys are fathers, while Men's Health Week focuses on claimed inadequacies of men in not better managing their health."[27] Dr. Teelucksingh independently highlighted the need to address the needs of young boys, teenagers and men who are not fathers, which was one of his primary purposes for establishing International Men's Day.[10]

In 2008 Dads4Kids Organization highlighted the theme 'honour and sacrifice', pointing to the sinking of the cruiser HMAS Sydney on 19 November during the Second World War which resulted in the death of 645 men off the coast of Geraldton in Western Australia.[28] Organisers said, "men make sacrifices every day in their place of work, in their role as husbands and fathers, for their families, for their friends, for their communities and for their nation."[28]

In 2009, a number of events were held throughout Australia including IMD initiatives organized by four local governments: Maitland City Council in N.S.W., Greater Hume Shire Council in Victoria, Ipswich City Council in Queensland, and Forbes Shire Council in N.S.W. each of whom funded local observations. These were the first government bodies in Australia to fund and host community IMD events.[10][29][30][31][32] In the State Parliament of Western Australia Minister Nick Goiran gave a speech introducing International Men's Day and its objectives to the parliament, focussing on the promotion of gender equality and the importance of highlighting positive male role models.[33] There was also an event held in the Federal Australian Parliament House with several notable speakers.[10] Numerous other organisations hosted observations including the Men's Shed Steering Committee in Rockhampton, the Community Resource center in Ulladulla, the Regional Health Service in KooWeeRup, and Dads on the Air radio programme in Sydney which hosted an hour-long programme discussing IMD with a panel of international coordinators of the event.[28][34][35][36]

In honour of men and boys on the occasion of IMD 2014, The Hon. Liz Behjat MLC addressed the Western Australian Legislative Council on the topic of men's lives and issues.[37]


The inaugural celebration of IMD in India was organized by the leading Indian Men's rights organization Save Indian Family on 19 November 2007.[38] The date of 19 November was accepted based on the fact that Australia and the West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago) were already observing IMD on that date. The event was again celebrated in India in 2008, and plans have been made to continue the celebration annually.[39]

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, and HBO deciding to screen male-positive movies in its "Men are Back" series on 19 November.[40]

In November 2014 Confidare Education Consultancy hosted an International Men's Day Art Gallery in New Delhi,[41] while in Kolkata protests were held to highlight elder abuse and men's human rights.[42] Other men's rights activists posed questions on the occasion of IMD, asking why are men deprived of gender neutral laws, why should not the domestic violence act be made gender neutral, and why are fathers deprived of children's custody in case of separated spouses.[43] The Chennai Chapter of All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) submitted a memorandum to the government on IMD 2014 demanding constitution of Men’s Welfare Ministry, National Commission for Men, and making all laws gender neutral.[44]


In December 2003 Men's Health Magazine held the first International Men's Day in China. The event was held in Beijing and received a positive response from all sectors of society: Sina, Sohu, BTV Charm Frontline, CCTV Arts Express, Shanghai Oriental Satellite TV, Modern Times, The Beijing Youth Daily, Beijing Evening News and other national media which tracked the event. Themes highlighted on the day included men's health and fashion. According to Ms Carrie Xu, PR manager of TRENDS, the International Men's Day is jointly promoted by Men's Health, FHM, and Esquire.[45][46] Organizers stated, "In today's society, more and more the fast pace of work and life of modern men often leaves them feeling physically exhausted, yet struggling to maintain a high spirit and commitment to work and life, with added social and family pressures... Thus we call on the community to show some concern for "men's issues" and to help them find ways to alleviate the pressure so that they can relax and enjoy their own real day. This will help men take care of their own physical and mental health and contribute to a happier life and work."[47]

In Hong Kong in 2010 special observances of International Men's Day occurred on 19 November, with the theme "Blessed Are The Men". All men were invited to ride for free in the city's Ngong Ping 360 Tung Chung cable cars for a round-trip on 19 November.[48] In the same year an article in China Daily on 3 August asked whether men in China needed their own special day, citing the fact that on International Women's Day all women in China, who accounted for 45 percent of the workforce, get a mandatory half day off by their employer while men had no such day. The article reported on an online survey done by Shanghai Hotline asking "Do men need a holiday for themselves?" – to which 80.24 percent of respondents said "yes" with many insisting that Shanghai men are tired and deserve a holiday.[48][49]

United States

Internationally recognized fatherhood and men's issues advocate Diane A. Sears serves as the United States Coordinator for International Men's Day.[50] Sears is a member of the International Men's Day Coordination Committee where she represents the United States. International Men's Day is celebrated in numerous states throughout the United States which include but are not limited to Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Virginia, New York, Iowa, Michigan, Hawaii, and Alabama. In 2010 the Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Governor of Michigan, issued a proclamation designating 19 November as International Men's Day in the State of Michigan.[51][52] In 2010, in New York, a formal IMD Gala was celebrated at the Black Spectrum Theater which included an awards ceremony organized by Attorney/Author/Motivational Speaker Cathleen E. Williams, Esq., RN to celebrate positive male role models. The event was hosted by Harold S. Reed Jr,[53] In Illinois Roger C. Claar, Mayor of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Bolingbrook, Will and DuPage Counties, proclaimed 19 November 2010 as International Men's Day, and various community IMD observations took place in the City of Chicago.[10]

2011 International Men's Day was celebrated on Saturday, 19 November 2011 under the theme, "Giving Boys The Best Possible Start In Life" in the United States in numerous states which included, but were not limited to, Pennsylvania, New York; Iowa (Luther College in Decorah, Iowa); Illinois; Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Hawaii; Florida; California; Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Arizona; Alabama; and Michigan.[10]

2012 International Men's Day was celebrated on Monday, 19 November 2012 under the theme, "Helping Men and Boys Live Longer, Happier, Healthier Lives". The United States of America joined over 70 nations in observing 2012 International Men's Day.

Among its developments International Men's Day has forged a collaboration between two nations—Botswana and the United States of America. Under the leadership of Geneuvive Twala, the Botswana coordinator for 2012 International Men's Day and Odetta Wright, the Virginia (US) regional coordinator for 2012 International Men's Day, the "Men Of Tomorrow" Rites of Passage Mentorship Program, a mentoring program for boys and young men established in 2011 in America, was launched in Botswana on 19 November 2012 – 2012 International Men's Day. The "Men of Tomorrow" Rites of Passage Mentorship Program was initiated by Bishop Gerald O. Glenn of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Richmond, Virginia. The mentoring program was first launched in the United States on 2011 International Men's Day – 19 November 2011 – in partnership with Mrs. Wright, who is also an actress, playwright, film producer, and co-founder of Father Figure Enterprises.

The Botswana coordinator for 2012 International Men's Day also launched a literary initiative in Botswana on 2012 International Men's Day. Ms. Twala extended an invitation to boys and young men who are enrolled in the mentorship program and to students in local schools in Gaborone, Botswana to participate in a Literary Initiative which will take the form of a writing competition. International fatherhood and men's issues journal In Search of Fatherhood which is published in the United States, is slated to publish the winning essays and poems emanating from the literary initiative in Botswana.

Weeks before the observance of 2012 International Men's Day, on 12 October 2012, Ms. Twala unveiled a ten-year plan for International Men's Day, known as the "2012–2022: International Men's Day Ten Year Plan" which will reduce over a ten-year period the key challenges of education, physical and mental health, violence, fatherhood, positive male role models, and real-life options which prevent boys and young men—the Next Generation of Leaders, Husbands, and Fathers—from maturing into purpose-driven, productive, and successful adults. After reviewing the concept for this Plan created by Ms. Twala, a general consensus was reached among Coordinators in the United States for International Men's Day to adopt and develop this plan in America. The US 2012–2022 International Men's Day Ten Year Plan Committee has been established and members who are Regional Coordinators for International Men's Day in the United States are working on developing and implementing the Plan.


In the aus, International Men's Day is coordinated by Glen Poole (editor of insideMAN magazine) with support from Mark Brooks (Chair of the ManKind Initiative) domestic abuse charity and Tony Stott (Healing-Men).

It has its own dedicated website, Twitter feed (@ukmensday) and Facebook page.

In 2014, over 25 organisations held events across the UK - including two in the House of Commons.


In England the event was inaugurated in 2008 by University of Kent students who celebrated International Men's Day the university campus on 19 November 2008. This event was organized and coordinated by the Kent University student group 'The Bishopden Boys'. The Bishopden boy's were a Kent Union charitable group, located in Bishopden court, which raises money for various charities each year. Activities for IMD night included 7 a side football tournament, comedy acts and a live music festival, fronted by the student band "Jad". There was a raffle, a guitar hero competition and an Xbox 360 tournament to raise money. About 3,000 people attended with roughly equal numbers of males and females. All proceeds raised went to ORCHID a charity for all male cancers, including prostate, penile or testicular cancer. In November 2010 the Brighton Men's Network organised an IMD conference event for the city of Brighton for professionals, experts and people interested in helping the city in improving services for men and boys. Chair of the Men's Network Glen Poole stated that public sector bosses, the voluntary sector, business leaders and concerned individuals will come together and explore how to help all men and boys live more fulfilled lives and make a bigger contribution to the city, and concluded, "This event will be an important step towards getting people to agree on the actions we need to take and help us develop the world's first citywide strategy for men and boys that we aim to launch next year."[54][55][56] At Hartlepool, Rossmere Youth Centre hosted an IMD evening for boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 19 focused on health, gender equality and promoting male role models. Activities included rides on a rodeo bull, a Gladiators-style event, an Indian head massage, and dressing up in sumo suits. Organisations Springboard, Nacro and Jobsmart attended to give information and advice on training opportunities.[57] On 19 Nov 2010 Tiemo Entertainment sponsored a 'Celebration of Men Dinner' in London's Hotel Ibis in Euston, with Keynote Speaker Mr Damion Queva – Publisher of Fathers Quarterly magazine. Discussions were conducted on the topic, "What is the purpose of International Men's Day?" and attendees were treated to a wide ranging discussion of some of the key issues facing men today. The mixed panel of professionals (including women) included Investment Analyst Michael Young, HR Manager Beverley Green, Builder and Reach Role Model Hylton Forrester, Wendy Forrester, Michael Peters, Polish Publisher Anna Prochon and the Keynote speaker Damion Queva, Publisher of Fathers Quarterly magazine in the UK.[58][59]

A new website covering the whole of the UK was created in 2013 listing the events and supporting organisations.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland 2010 Deputy Mayor of Newry and Mourne Council, Cllr Karen Mc Kevitt launched the Magnet Young Men's Health Event,' on Friday 19 November. The event was attended by men from across the district and representatives from local statutory, voluntary and community organisations were organised to celebrate 19 November as International Men's Day. Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mc Kevitt said, ‘It is a great idea to give an issue that has an international perspective a local focus. All men need to look after their health and take advantage of the services and help that is out there, as we all do. But it is particularly good to see an event that looks at the barriers that young men may be facing and brings together people from all organisations across the district to look at what can be done to work together to make things better.'[60] The event offered opportunities for men to have health checks with experienced staff from Action Cancer, and speakers such as Dr. Ken Harland (University of Ulster's Centre of Young Men's studies), Peter Mc Donald, a senior child care worker from Giggles Daycare nursery, and local athlete Ronan Murtagh shared their own insight into the choices young men make and the opportunities that are out there for young men today. Also in attendance was Jerome Burns, Assistant Director, Department for Social Development. Jerome stated, ‘The department for Social Development is delighted to support local initiatives that work with young men to highlight inequalities in health.'[60]


IMD was inaugurated in Scotland in 2010. The event was endorsed by the Government of Scotland and by the Men's Health Forum of Scotland (MHFS).[61][62] The MHFS celebrated the day with a roundtable event to promote the health and wellbeing of men and boys by bringing together key people and organisations. The focus of the event was to discuss the rationale for developing a national men's health policy in Scotland. The event took place at Elliot House, the office of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (QIS) in Edinburgh, where there were representations from Scottish Government, NHS Leads and Directors in the Voluntary Health Sector who discussed the issues and set up a short term task group to take this work forward. Jim Leishman, Men's Health Coordinator, NHS Forth Valley said: "This event was a huge opportunity to drive through improvements in men's health in Scotland."[61][62]


In 2011 The Welsh Government was accused by Tory councillor Peter Davies of sex discrimination for supporting International Women's Day with grants totalling £30,000 while ignoring International Men's Day. Davies stated, "I don't particularly object to the Welsh Government spending money on International Women's Day, but I would have thought that with its commitment to equality it would also be happy to recognise International Men's Day, which will be celebrated this Saturday."[63]


In 2008, a 19–21 November IMD event was organized in Singapore. The Adam Association organized a forum – Definition of a Man- which identified various problems men face at home such as communication issues, and how to overcome them. Held in Malay, speakers included Dr Maliki Osman, Parliamentary Secretary for National Development, and staff members from the Registry of Marriages. The forum was open to the public for free and was held at the Darussalam mosque along Commonwealth Avenue West. Another event, also part of International Men's Day, was the Admiralty Baby Genius and Kids' Fashion contest, held on Sunday at Woodlands. Jointly organized by Adam Association and Ace the Place Community Club Management Committee, activities included a diaper-changing contest for fathers.[54][64]

In 2009 the National Family Council launched the Singapore Dads for Life movement to support a man's role in co-parenting.[65] As part of the event volunteers distributed men's 'toolkits' at more than 30 locations to mark International Men's Day.[66] Another organization, the Father's Action Network (FAN) also handed out "Dads for Life" toolkits and asked people to share personal stories of fatherhood which were placed online.[67]


International Men's Day has been celebrated in Malta by the Association for Men's Rights since 1994.[68] AMR founder and director Dr. John Zammit conceived the event which has been held yearly in the form of a dinner, lunch or reception for AMR members and public. On this occasion awards are given to individuals who have made distinctive contributions men's rights such as, for example, efforts made by committee members, "for the removal of the impediment of departure which we had on men in separation/divorce cases. Before 1995 all men who had problems with their wives in Malta, be it Maltese or foreigners, could not leave the island while their case was still in court and so were imprisoned in Malta."[69] The Malta event has traditionally been observed on 7 February since 1994, making it the longest running local IMD observation in the world. As the February date is not celebrated by other participating countries and did not qualify as an internationally observed date, discussions were undertaken within the Maltese Association for Men's Rights, and on 17 January 2009, the committee voted unanimously to shift their celebrations to 19 November to coincide with all the others around the world.[10][70]


In November 2009, writer Marie Clarence organized the inaugural IMD celebration for Hungary. Clarence organized the event to promote gender balance and gender equity. The celebration was held in Budapest and the UNESCO Cultural Committee Chairman of Hungary Dr. Michael Hoppal gave the opening speech. The event included celebration of local culture, including dancing and forum discussions which highlighted men's achievements and contributions to the world.[10]

South Africa

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe addressed an International Men's Day gathering in South Africa 2009

Positive Men's Movement of South Africa (POMESA)[71] in partnership with South African Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (NAPWA)[72] organized the first Annual International Men's Day event. The event was held on 6 December 2008, and involved a Men's March for peace and justice from taxi rank to the national men's rally venue which is Rabasotho hall in Thembisa township, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. Between three and five thousand men attended from all provinces of South Africa. Speakers in the event included the national government officials, national leadership of POMESA and NAPWA, and civil society, and included an Annual Men's Awards event to honour three outstanding men who have or and continue to contribute positively in the creation of peaceful and just society.[10][73]

In 2008, POMESA and NAPWA celebrated IMD on 6 December.[73] As the December date was not celebrated by other participating countries, discussions were undertaken within both organizations and in May 2009 the Secretary General of NAPWA and POMESA Nkululeko Nxesi announced that the National Boards of both organizations have agreed to celebrate the Men's day on the same dates with other countries beginning on 19 November 2009 and in each year thereafter on the same date.[10][70]

On 19 November 2009 five thousand men from across Africa converged on the Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto to celebrate the second annual International Men's Day, where they promoted gender equality, positive male role models and emphasised that ‘not all men are bad people'.[74][75] Deputy President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe delivered the keynote address at what was termed "a ground-breaking event". The meeting was organized and led by the National Association of People Living With HIV and AIDS (NAPWA) to highlight the need for treatment access to medication and prevention.[76][77][78]


Ghana Fatherhood Initiative Foundation hosted an inaugural IMD celebration in 2009. The occasion was marked by a formal event with speakers, and included a cerermony of donating of books to several schools in the Ablekuma sub-district in Accra. The event was chaired by Mr. George Odame, the advisory board chairman of Ghana Fatherhood Initiative Foundation, who encouraged all fathers to read to their children as part of responsible fatherhood. The special guest of honour was Maxwell Mac. Ocloo who delivered a speech entitled 'Men – let us be instruments of positive influence' in which he encouraged men to lead by example.[79]


On Saturday 19 November 2011, Youth Challenge International (YCI), in partnership with local and international organizations celebrated International Men's Day for the first time in Arusha and Morogoro, Tanzania. In Arusha, YCI, The Umoja Centre, Support for International Change, UMATI, Initiative for Youth Organization and Global Service Corps hosted the event at the Mbauda Open Market Ground. This event was aimed to promote men and boys as positive role models and to educate the community on the role of males and females in health, education, family life, violence and life choices. The event included performances, games, and educational activities. Over 500 youth and other community members came together to acknowledge the roles and responsibilities of men and boys in creating a brighter future for all Tanzanians. To celebrate the event in Morogoro, volunteers, along with partner organization Faraja Trust Fund, held a soccer tournament on with 8 local teams. To qualify to participate in the tournament each team had to come to two information sessions on male sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, gender roles and good governance. YCI and Faraja provided an on-site HIV testing centre, a DJ with music and dancing throughout the day, and drama group performances on the key objectives of International Men's Day.[80] Plans exist for the Tanzanian Men's Rights Organisation (TAMRA) to celebrate International men's day in 2013.


International Men's Day was inaugurated in Zimbabwe on 19 November 2011. The commemorations were held at Chibuku Stadium in Chitungwiza under the theme Giving The Boy Child The Best Possible Start In Life. Fred Misi, the chairman of Men's Forum Varume Svinurai/Vhukhani said the commemorations came at a time when attention was being given to the girl child at the expense of boys, and noted, "Whilst it is important to focus on the specific needs of the girl child, we are creating a crisis by ignoring the specific needs of the boy child." Misi highlighted the growing trend that many boys were dropping out of school and were hooked on hard drugs as well as abusing alcohol, while a significant number of those who were completed secondary and tertiary education were roaming the streets because of unemployment. He added the government and Zimbabweans needed to act immediately. A number of prominent persons attended and gave papers on the need to give the boy child assistance. There was drama and poetry from various groups and individual high school students in line with the theme of the celebrations, and the Zimbabwe Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Honorable Dr Olivia Muchena gave a key note address in which she said, "It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular their contributions to community, family, marriage and child care while highlighting the discrimination against them... International Men's Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of good will to appreciate and celebrate the men in their life and the contributions they make to society for the greater good of all hence it being important for us to celebrate this day equally as we did with The International Women's Day."[81]


International Men's Day was inaugurated in Botswana in 2011 by coordinator Geneuvieve Twala. One of the International Men's Day themes promoted was to help foster youth to unlock their creative identities to allow them to share their gifts with peers, family and the community, and to be seen and heard for who they are and not how they are perceived. The primary event was a gala dinner titled "One moment for Change" to highlight men's potential and the increasing capabilities of men as innovators of society. The dinner was held to raise funds to cover six months music tuition fees for a group of 20 children from the SOS Children's Village whom IMD ambassadors have adopted as part of a mentoring programme for children. Standard Chartered Bank sponsored the dinner, which included a range of iconic speakers who shared their experience and insights with the audience. Standard Chartered Bank Acting CEO Mr Michael Wiegand opened the event by sharing best practices that Standard Chartered Bank uses to address legitimate issues faced by male employees, including the fact that Standard Chartered Bank is the first company in Botswana to offer paternity leave which, he stated, made their male employees feel valued and that they were working for a 21st-century organization. Mr Tebogo Sebego, senior partner at Sebego & Sharma Attorneys and former chairperson of the Law Society of Botswana gave a keynote speech where he emphasized how the child protection laws should be improved, how the society play a role in creating a safe environment for the future generation of men. Mrs Tjipo Mothobi, Director, GBC Health South Africa gave an address on business collective effort. The District Commissioner in his closing remarks made an announcement that by end of December he was convening a meeting with men in the City where they will engage in dialogue on how they can collectively address the issues and challenges men and boys face. The inaugural event was a success, with radio stations subsequently airing programmes that call for debate on men's issues since IMD. All the businesses and stakeholders involved gave a commitment to be part and parcel of the next IMD and we are already working on the strategy for 2012.[10]


On 19 November 2012 Government Minister Vincent Meriton declared this year the first that IMD has been celebrated at a National Government level. Minister Meriton said, "The time has come for us to adopt a new approach, instead of reinforcing negative stereotyping of males behaving badly, e.g. media portrayals of males as violent, power-hungry, irresponsible and so on. Such negative images are frequently used in an attempt to shame males into behaving more positively."[82] Meriton stated that the practice of negative stereotyping ignores the fact that such negative behaviours do not apply to the vast majority of men and boys, or that such negativity may detrimentally impact the self-image and self-esteem of boys, which in turn impacts their willingness to contribute to building better relationships and communities as they grow into adults. In conclusion he stated that "International Men's Day calls for and promotes positive masculinity which we in Seychelles can strongly identify with as it forms part of the social renaissance campaign launched at the beginning of the year by President James Michel."[82]


On 19 November 2012 Burundi joined the world for the first time in celebrating the International Men's Day, as Association for the Protection of the Man in Distress (APHD Burundi) denounced violence inflicted to men by their wives. Vincent Bukuru, chairman of the APHD-Burundi said, "Violence on men rises when the man loses his job, during the end of year festivities (Christmas and New Year) and at the International Women's Day (8 March)."[83] Bukuru called on the Burundian government to conduct a national investigation on types and origins of violence that men are facing, their consequences and their gravity which he stated is a violation of human rights.[83]


To Celebrate International Men's Day on Thursday 19 November 2009, Irish broadcaster Newstalk devoted a day-long show to men. The show was hosted by Tom Dunne and was Ireland's first ever observation of the event. Topics included discussion of how 'Men Sheds' contribute to improving men's health, and of their popularity in Ireland.[84] In 2011 Men in Childcare Network Ireland and Men in Childcare Europe, a European network made up of Men in Childcare networks from individual EU member countries, hosted a European conference on "Reimagining Childhood Care & Education" A celebration of Universal Children's Day, and International Men's Day. The event called 'Reimagining Childhood Care and Education' took place in Ireland on Saturday 19 November 2011 at the City West Hotel, Dublin.[10] Also in 2011 the Raphoe Family Resource Centre hosted an event with different groups in order to focus on the value of, and highlighting the positive contribution that men make. Children were invited to offer poems or stories about their fathers, grandfathers, uncles or big brothers which were put on display all week to show the men in families know how important they are to others.

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man celebrated its inaugural celebration in 2012 at the Isle of Man College of Higher education on 19 November 2012.[85] The organization emphasised the 2012 theme which highlighted World Health Organization figures showing that every year over half a million people die from violence and 83% of them are men and boys, and that a similar proportion of the global burden of disease (ill-health, disability or early death) from violence is borne by males. For activities the NSC held strength tests and health advice; The Children's Centre loaned out their interactive babies and some parenting information and Will Sutton attended as the 'Positive' male role model for the day. The Student Council baked and sold cakes, and Sami-Jaine Martin (Student President) was running a Sexual Health Stand. The engineering group was selling moustaches and raising money for men's cancer charities, while construction group (with help from the art department) made an 8 ft seaside cut out for photographs on the day. The beauty therapy department offered their time to pamper the boys with Indian head massages and face mapping, and there were also 3 students who volunteered to have their chest waxed to raise money for charity.[85][86]

On November 19, 2014 a total of 110 men took part in the all-male class led by Dave Smythe at the National Sports Centre in Douglas, which set the new world record for the Largest male yoga class, according to the World Record Academy. The event was the organized by Kate Bergquist, health and well-being co-ordinator at Isle of Man College to mark International Men's Day.[87][88]


On 19 November 2009, directors of the Vancouver Manology Programme held an all day event to mark the beginning of the Vancouver Men's Centre. As a feature of this event organizers announced their official endorsement of International Men's Day and held forums introducing attendees to the history, goals and values of the international event, including discussions toward planning larger IMD events in 2010. This marks the first Canadian 19 Nov IMD observation.[10][89] In 2010 Canada IMD Coordinator David Hatfield organized a large event at the Roundhouse in Vancouver for numerous male and family-friendly organizations to display their social work to the general public. Entertainment and various speakers were included.[90][91] The Council of the Corporation of the City of Oshawa issued a 2010 Proclamation that 19 November be designated Oshawa International Men's Day with the Proclamation, "And further take notice and let it be known that the Council of the Corporation of the City of Oshawa hereby urges all citizens to take cognizance of this event and fittingly join in its observance".[10] The Laurel Centre in Winnipeg celebrated IMD with a public open house on 19 November announcing a new shelter program to help men and their children who are fleeing intimate partner violence. On 1 July 2010, the Men's Resource Centre (MRC) officially became a program of The Laurel Centre, and staff and volunteers said they were pleased with the new partnership which will provide a solid foundation of leadership and expertise from which to grow and develop services for men in Manitoba. The official IMD launch of this initiative was attended by several speakers including The Honorable Gord Mackintosh – Minister of Family Services; Mr. Justin Swandel – Deputy Mayor and The City of Winnipeg.[2][92][93]


Men in Denmark formed a group which planned to hold their own International Men's Day celebration on 19 November 2010. The group's spokesman Martin Pavón said that IMD is not a political counterpart of Women's Day, nor in opposition to women. He stated, "We want to take this opportunity to promote everyday ordinary men who live clean and honest lives and contribute positively to society."[94][95][96]


In 2011, the first international men's day was organized by a group of volunteers in cooperation with the Resource Centre for Men.[97][98] The event, at the House of Literature on 30 February included Stig Omland from the Norwegian Cancer Society, representatives from the Resource Centre for Men, and included a panel discussion and photo exhibition by Nina Djærff called "Man".[99][100][101]


In 2010 Männerpartei (an Austrian Men's Rights collective) inaugurated International Men's Day in Austria after the liquidation of the 'Men's World Day' event in 2004 which left the country with no men's day celebration.[102][103] Männerpartei used the occasion to hold a workshop on father friendly social policy in Austria and to summarise progress for men and boys in the last twelve months, particularly in the area of law reform. The group also celebrated the first Children's Planet Award Gala and its focus on the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted on 20 November 1989.[104]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In 2011 The Society Development Association "Kap" initiated an inaugural International Men's Day programme for Bosnia-Herzegovina on 19 November. The goal of the public media campaign was to raise awareness about the health of men and boys, with other goals being the promotion of gender equality through a dialogue and common marking of this date, and noting positive male role models using examples from different areas of society.[10][105][106]


On 16 November 2012 the Ukrainian News Agency held a 'Meet the Press' event entitled "International Men's Day: Aspects Of Health And Longevity".[107] The event was Ukraine's inaugural recognition of the global occasion. The panelists were Pasechnikov S. P., a professor, doctor of medical sciences, an Honored Scientist of Ukraine, the chief urologist of the Health Ministry of Ukraine, and the head of the Department of Urology at the Bohomolets National Medical University; Shvets O. V., an associate professor, a doctor of medical sciences, the president of the Ukrainian Association of Dietitians, and the chief nutritionist of the Health Ministry of Ukraine; Silantiev D. O., an honored master of sports in swimming, a world champion, a European champion, a public activist, and the founder of the Foundation for Support of Youth and Olympic Swimming; and Markov A. E., a doctor of medical sciences and GlaxoSmithKline's regional medical director for Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and the Caucasus.[107] Themes discussed included healthy lifestyle as the basis for good health; Healthy eating and complete diet; The particulars and maintenance of health and quality of life from the viewpoint of urology; The role of the environment and social initiatives; and The expansion of the Orange Card social program – new opportunities for Ukrainian men.[107]


In France Discovery Channel launched a moustache-growing competition for 2010 International Men's Day, with prizes given to the winners on 19 November. The competition winners are decided by popular public vote.[108]


In November 2009 Giorgio Ceccarelli, law graduate and a practicing lawyer announced that International Men's Day was formally recognized in all Italian organisations to which he is President : Children Denied Association, Daddy's Pride, Army Fathers and Cultural Association "I Love Alatri". On 19 November several activists also rallied outside the Colosseum as part of their IMD celebration. This was the very first observation of 19 November IMD in Italy.[10]


Pakistani Human Rights organization 'Rights and Rights' inaugurated International Men's Day in Muzaffargarh in 2010. Rights and Rights Founder Yousaf Jamal reported that around 100 people attended, with many lawyers, educationists, social activists and representatives of Women's organizations attending the seminar. Special tributes were paid to prominent male role models. Jamal observed that in Pakistan over the last few years a lot of feminist organizations paint the whole male gender as cruel, and likewise in some prevailing laws there are many discriminatory clauses against men, particularly in Family Law and Harassment in the Work Place Act. Jamal paid reference to the steady decline of male participation at Higher Education and University level, citing student numbers in Karachi University as 90% female, in Punjab University 70% female, and in BZ University 52% female. Mr Jamal spoke of the importance of gender cooperation in tackling various problems faced by males and females and cautioned that we should avoid the "Each gender for itself" approach and instead promote better gender relationships. He proposed that all people should celebrate both Men's Day and Women's Day and asked everyone to join with Rights and Rights International for the elimination of Gender Based Discrimination.[10][109]


In 2010 during Plenary of the Thirty-Fifth assembly of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM), Ambassador Gillian Bristol presented a national report reiterating Grenada's commitment to gender equality and its decision to celebrate International Men's Day with various activities which include an address to the nation by Prime Minister Hon. Tillman Thomas on 19 November 2010.[110][111]


Cuba held its inaugual IMD observations on 19 November 2011.[112] In 2012 the Sculpture Workshop Gallery of Rita Longa was nominated as a weekend space for reflections on the International Day of Man and on the subject of gender equality. The event was attended by members of the Cuban Association of Agricultural and Forestry Technicians (ACTAF) and the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), along with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) who decided to pool efforts with the two major social programs offices. Othoniel Morffis Valera, director of the main institution hosting the event and cultural project coordinator Alley Ceiba, offered their reflections about observing the date for the second time, both in this city and in the capital Havana.[112]

Antigua and Barbuda

In 2010 the Government of Antigua and Barbuda announced its official inauguration of International Men's Day. The day was celebrated with a public observation, speeches and TV interviews. In the keynote speech C. W. Roberts defined the purpose of International Men's Day as, "A global occasion to celebrate the positive contributions and variegated experience of being male. On this day we celebrate men's and boys' strengths whilst taking time to acknowledge their vulnerabilities and their needs." Roberts added that the day intended to transcend negative stereotyping and to encourage and embrace greater options for men and for all people.[113]

St. Kitts and Nevis

International Men's Day was inaugurated in St. Kitts and Nevis on 19 November 2010. The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs is using the occasion of International Men's Day to highlight issues affecting and involving men. International Men's Day was observed on Friday and a few activities, such as a health fair, a church service and a panel discussion on general men's issues were organized by the ministry.[114] Ms. Sharon Rattan, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Affairs said the Gender Affairs Department wants to reach out more to men as previously they focused mostly on women issues. Ms. Rattan told WINN FM that it was their hope to use the opportunity to gather more information about the issues affecting men to guide their plan of action in the future. "We are trying to get men together and engage their minds on the issues that affect them so that we can go forward and support them," Ms. Rattan said, adding that the programs would also cater to young boys.[114][115]

Cayman Islands

In 2011 the Department of Counselling Services' Family Resource Centre organized Cayman Islands' first IMD observation consisting of two events; The 1st Annual International Men's Day Football Tournament & Expo open to the public, and secondly a "Give Boys the Best Possible Start in Life" Roundtable Discussion as a featured broadcast. Miriam Foster, Acting Programme Coordinator of the Family Resource Centre said, "We feel it is important that boy's issues are highlighted and we give them an opportunity to express themselves."[116]

On November 19, 2014 the Cayman Family Resource Centre (FRC) highlighted men’s contribution to society, and asking them to make pledges for their futures. A short film was also shown to the public featuring local boys talking about serious issues that affect their lives. The Davenport Development International Men’s Day Football Tournament took place on Saturday, 22 November 2014 at the Camana Bay Sports Complex, and Premier Alden McLaughlin delivered an International Men's Day Message. These events marked the fourth consecutive celebration of International Men’s Day in Cayman.[117][118][119]

St. Lucia

In 2011 the St. Lucia Crisis Center organized an IMD awareness campaign. Organizers disseminated information about the event and its objectives to media and within educational facilities.[10]

In 2014 the Government of St. Lucia held an IMD event at the auditorium of the Wellness Centre on the Millennium Highway where men of all ages were invited to attend. The event was geared at recognizing and celebrating the achievements of men and boys, and was titled “Appreciating Men’s Leadership and Sacrifice for Family and Country.” It was organized by the Division of Gender Relations in the Ministry of Health, included a focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality and developing positive male role models, and highlighted discriminations against men.[120]


According to its creators, International Men's Day is a time to promote positive aspects of male identity based on the premise that 'males of all ages respond more energetically to positive role models than they do to negative gender stereotyping'.[121] During past years the method of commemorating International Men's Day included public seminars, classroom activities at schools, radio and television programs, peaceful displays and marches, debates, panel discussions, award ceremonies, and art displays.[122][123] The manner of observing this annual day is optional, and any appropriate forums can be used. Early pioneers of IMD reminded that the day is not intended to compete against International Women's Day, but is for the purpose of highlighting men's experiences.[10][124] In 2009 the following broad objectives were ratified as a basis for all International Men's Day observations, and are applied equally to men and boys irrespective of their age, ability, social background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious belief and relationship status:

  • To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, 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 live free from harm and grow to reach their full potential[121]

According to Men's Activism News Network, International Men's Day also interfaces with "Movember" – a worldwide moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health, one of the key themes promoted on IMD.[125] It also interfaces with Universal Children's Day on 20 November and forms a 48-hour celebration firstly of men, then children respectively, with a recognition of the bonds between them.[126][127]

Yearly theme

As well as the six Core Objectives, a secondary theme for IMD is usually suggested by world coordinators such as peace in 2002, men's health in 2003, healing and forgiveness in 2007, positive male role models in 2009 and 'our children's future' in 2010. It is not compulsory to adopt these secondary themes and participants are welcome to establish individual themes to suit local needs and concerns.[121][123]

2011 "Giving Boys The Best Possible Start In Life"

In 2011 the theme for international Men's Day is 'boys' with the title, "Giving Boys The Best Possible Start In Life". This theme asks people around the world to focus on five key challenges that boys all over the world experience in areas of health, education, family life, violence and life choices and to consider local solutions to the global problems that boys face.[121]

2012 "Helping Men and Boys Live longer, Happier and Healthier Lives"

The theme for 2012 is 'health' with the title "Helping Men and Boys Live longer, Happier and Healthier Lives". The target areas nominated by IMD Founder Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh are; 1. Improving male life expectancy; 2. Helping men get help; 3. Improving boys' education; 4. Tackling tolerance of violence against men and boys; and 5. Promoting fathers and positive male role models. The 2012 theme highlights World Health Organization figures showing that every year over half a million people die from violence and 83% of them are men and boys, and that a similar proportion of the global burden of disease (ill-health, disability or early death) from violence is borne by boys and men.[121][128]

2013 "Keeping Men and Boys safe"

The theme for 2013 as nominated by the IMD Coordination Committee is, "Keeping Men and Boys safe". The nominated target areas are, 1.Keeping men and boys Safe by tackling male suicide; 2. Keeping boys safe so they can become tomorrow's role models; 3. Tackling our tolerance of violence against men and boys; 4. Boosting men's life expectancy by keeping men and boys safe from avoidable illness and death; 5. and Keeping men and boys safe by promoting fathers and male role models. 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?" [129]

2014 "Working Together For Men and Boys"

2014 International Men’s Day theme was “Working Together For Men and Boys” and was designed to encourage greater cooperation in addressing a range of issues that affect Men and Boys such as men’s shorter life expectancy, the high male suicide rate, our collective tolerance of violence against men, and the struggles that boys can face in getting an education and the unique challenges of father-child relationships.[130]

2015 "Working To Expand Reproductive Options for Men"

The International Men’s Day theme for 2015 — “Working To Expand Reproductive Options for Men” —is designed to encourage cooperation in addressing reproductive issues that affect men and boys around the world, such as family planning, men’s limited number reproductive choices, sexual health, and safe sexual practices. The question is asked of how we might improve men’s freedom to choose parenthood through cultural, legal, technological and educational avenues.[131]

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External links