International Men’s Day: What For?

Every one of us have men in our lives. We have them as our fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, cousins, pastors, colleagues, friends, neighbours, employers, employees, doctors, to name but a few.

These people influence our lives and positively impact the society as well. Sometimes we celebrate them (like on father’s day), sometimes we don’t. But each one of us should have at least one reason to celebrate the men in our lives.

What for? The work hard to make our lives and society better. They provide leadership, provision, protection and so on so forth for us.

I’m not suggesting that men should become the object of our collective worship. But I’m saying there is nothing wrong with celebrating men for their immense contribution to the well-being of the society.

Today is that day set aside around the world for such celebration; every year, the 19th day of November is observed as International Men’s Day (IMD). And by extension, November is sometimes referred to as International Men’s month.

Now, the question is, “What is the purpose of having an International Men’s Day?” It is generally understood as an “occasion to celebrate boys and men’s achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values” (Wikipedia).

Did you notice that boys were included alongside men to be celebrated? That is to say, it is a day earmarked to celebrate the male gender’s contribution to society. (Sorry ladies, you can wait till the 20th day of the month of March when the next International Women’s Day will be celebrated).

Objectives of international men's day

In pursuing the objective of celebrating men’s and boy’s positive contribution to society, special focus is made on some specific areas of boy’s and men’s lives. These are encapsulated in what is referred to as:

The 6 Pillars of International Men’s Day

According to the IMD’s website, the objectives of the International Men’s Day are as listed below:

  1. To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  2. To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  3. To focus on men’s health and well-being; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  4. To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
  5. To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
  6. To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

These are noble objectives you might say. But to which extent are they being achieved? That’s a question for another day!

Meanwhile, if you are a male reading this, don’t just read and walk away indifferently. I would like you to take another look at the six objectives listed above as a form of self evaluation to enable you identify areas for possible personal improvement.

If you are like me, we know we have not been the best we could be or did the best we could do in those stated cardinal areas. That’s to say, there is still room for improvement for all of us boys and men.

On the other hand, if you are a non-male, you may also want to evaluate the six objectives to identify the ones that appeal to you most. You can then help the men and boys around you improve in those areas of their lives or simply suggest to them as specific areas of improvement.

Happy International Men’s Day!

Let the conversation continue in the comment section.