International Men’s Day 2023: History, Significance, and Theme

International Men’s Day, celebrated on November 19 every year, is dedicated to men and their contributions to society. The day seeks to celebrate the success and progress made by men in economic, social, cultural, and political spheres and their contributions to family, institutions and society at large.

The day is an occasion to focus on the issues faced by men from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds across the world. Though it’s not a United Nations-recognised global observance, the day is celebrated in many countries yearly.

International Men’s Day History

The idea of International Men’s Day has been discussed since the 1960s, but it was first conceptualised and observed in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, a professor at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. Prof Teelucksingh selected November 19 to observe Men’s Day as it marked his father’s birth anniversary. Since then, it has been celebrated every year; currently, nearly 80 countries celebrate the day.

In India, Uma Challa, a men’s rights advocate, has been instrumental in popularising International Men’s Day celebrations in the country. According to reports, she initiated the celebrations in India to highlight the problems men face within an anti-male legal system and she has been pioneering the celebrations in India since 2007.

International Men’s Day Significance

According to the International Men’s Day website, the day “celebrates worldwide the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities”. It highlights positive role models and raises awareness of men’s well-being.

International Men’s Day offers the opportunity to discuss various important issues concerning men’s health, well-being and their problems. This is an occasion to talk about how people are treated unequally depending on their genders. The day’s objective is to promote basic humanitarian values and educate people about men’s problems. The day also emphasises the mental well-being of men irrespective of their cultural and social backgrounds.

International Men’s Day 2023 Theme

The theme for International Men’s Day 2023 is “Zero Male Suicide” whereby men and boys are supported to understand and cope with mental health issues. Generally, the male population is stressed about providing their family with necessary amenities and this can lead to added mental burden. Moreover, students are pressured to perform well in exams and secure a good job. Furthermore, when burdened with innumerable responsibilities, men are prone to many mental health issues like anxiety, depression and even suicide. This year’s theme focuses on addressing the issue of the tendency of suicide among men.

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