If you haven’t heard about this event before or you feel disconnected from the purpose of this day, keep on reading to find out more about its role and significance today.
What is this day for?
The purpose of International Men’s Day is to raise awareness of men’s mental and physical well-being, highlight positive role models while promoting positive masculinity, and challenge harmful stereotypes. It is also an opportunity for people to appreciate and support the men in their lives and the contribution they make in all their diversity.
Every year, International Men’s Day focuses on three core themes in order to boost participation from people and organisations:
- Making a positive difference to the well-being of men and boys
- Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ well-being
- Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity
Against any stereotype
‘Boys will be boys’ is a popular saying. Unfortunately, it is also quite inaccurate. From an early age, boys are gendered in a settled way within most societies and cultures around the globe. As they grow up, breaking free from the stereotype can be even more challenging. Men are often encouraged to conform to society’s idea of ‘what a man should be’ and, as such, portray a strong image of themselves that usually hides the real need to communicate inner emotions.
Taking a gender-inclusive approach, International Men’s Day recognises that gender is interwoven with many other factors, which, in turn, can contribute to the rise in men’s inequalities. To give an example, our cultural perspectives and expectations may contribute to an increased suicide rate in men. According to the data and analysis from Census 2021, in England and Wales three-quarters of suicides were males in 2021 and this represents the biggest cause of male deaths under 50.
💡 Check out more key facts about men’s and boys’ well-being
Luckily, the traditional idea of masculinity in today’s society is changing, and more and more men are embracing vulnerability as a strength, rather than a weakness. With the fading of stereotypes and biases, it is important to offer positive role models that embody the real qualities of masculinity. Kindness, altruism, trustworthiness, and open communication, among others.
Inspiration is key
By encouraging men to open up, conversation about mental health can be increasingly brought to light, while enhancing the lives of valuable individuals. This year’s IMD theme “Helping Men and Boys” offers a great opportunity to inspire and teach the younger generations the values and responsibilities of being a man. To this aim, several prominent figures are now supporting International Men’s Day, starting a dialogue, and empowering this new trend of masculinity.
🚀 You might like to read: Overcoming Fears: 3 Ways Therapy Can Be Helpful
We believe it is important to point out that this day is not meant to compete with International Women’s Day, rather it complements it. In fact, diversity should be celebrated rather than demeaned.
The broader and ultimate aim of IMD is to promote awareness towards men’s issues and highlight men’s experiences in their various facets and individual needs. Moreover, IMD is not an exclusive event. On this day, everyone can share, listen to, and be inspired by men’s diverse experiences and contribute to collective well-being.
Belonging is for everyone
As we advocate and strive for equality, we value the celebration of a day that reminds us that men aren’t bound by stereotypes the same way women aren’t.
It is time to reframe the discussion on masculinity and start challenging the gender roles predefined by society. Opening up conversations about inequalities, vulnerability and mental issues with and about men, not only makes us inclusion allies, but also creates a fair and safe environment where everyone can thrive and belong.