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International Men’s Day 2021

What is International Men’s Day?

International Men’s Day (IMD) is celebrated throughout the world on 19 November. It began in Kansas, America, in 1991-2, as a way to thank men of all ages for their contributions to society, to respect and celebrate men and boys, and to raise positive awareness of serious issues. Today, IMD invites every man, woman, girl and boy in the world to come together and celebrate men and boys in all their diversity, with celebrations being held in over 60 countries.

IMD in the UK is overseen by the Men and Boys Coalition charity, a representative group of 100+ charities, academics and professionals in the field of men and boys’ wellbeing. Throughout November, the UK marks IMD through activities including Parliamentary debates, community events, health discussions, film showings, awards and charity fundraisers. In 2020, there were over 200 UK events and 195,000 tweets!

Taking a gender inclusive approach, IMD encourages women and girls to take part (without creating competition around the wellbeing challenges that they also face), and recognises the intersection between gender and other factors (such as race and sexuality) which can compound the inequalities affecting men and boys.

Why is International Men’s Day important?

While we’re working to encourage more women into careers in STEM, men still account for 73% of the UK’s manufacturing sector workforce[1]. This means that the issues and challenges that men face today have a particularly significant impact on the OAS community.

IMD activities are centred on three broad themes:

  • Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
  • Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
  • Promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity

These core themes help to address some of the issues that affect men and boys, which include the high male suicide rate, men’s health, and the challenges faced by boys and men in education and work, such as attainment, redundancy and unemployment.

You can find out more about International Men’s day in the UK here as well as learning about the global campaign here.

What are we doing to celebrate International Men’s Day at OAS?

We’ll be marking IMD by hosting a health talk from Mind for our learners and training colleagues, as well as raising awareness and sharing information about men’s health and wellbeing, and signposting support and useful resources to make sure everyone knows how to access help when they need it.

Our apprentices have also arranged a charity football tournament this afternoon, with all proceeds going to our chosen IMD charity, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). 125 lives are lost every week to suicide, and 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM exists to change this, and you can find out more about their life saving services here.

[1] Office for National Statistics (ONS): https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/publicandprivatesectoremploymentemp02