Submitted by Luis Placencia, Public Ally/Marketing Associate
November 19th is the worldwide day to celebrate the positive value men bring to the world, their families, and communities. Now celebrated in more than 90 countries worldwide, International Men’s Day is gaining traction and deepening understanding of issues pertaining to men. One of the six pillars of International Men’s Day is to improve gender relations and promote gender equality for both men and women. The theme for IMD 2021 is “Better Relations Between Men and Women” which promotes the need to value manhood and womanhood and help people make practical improvements for positive relationships between the sexes.
The annual celebration began with Jerome Teelucksingh of the University of the West Indies who founded the day in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999. He noticed that, although there was a day to honor dads, there was no day to recognize men who did not have children, or young boys and teens. Teelucksingh recognized the value of positive male role models in his relationship with his own father and chose to observe International Men’s Day on November 19 — his father’s birthday as well as the day a local soccer team had united his country in their efforts to qualify for the World Cup.
Since Teelucksingh established this recognition, International Men’s Day has worked to promote positive elements of male identity, based on the idea that men respond more constructively to positive role models than to negative gender stereotypes. The purpose of the day is not to compete with International Women’s Day, but to emphasize the significance of men’s physical and mental health, as well as positive masculinity.
We at Advance advocate for positive masculinity and ethical male role models who understand the importance of health and gender equity. Thank you to all our male team members, volunteers, and, of course, donors who all contribute to Advance’s success.