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International Men’s Day is an annual event celebrated on 19th November and is founded on six pillars*:

  1. To promote positive male role models
  2. To celebrate men’s positive contribution to society, the family and the environment
  3. To focus on men’s health and well-being
  4. To highlight discrimination against males
  5. To improve gender relations and to promote gender equality
  6. To create a safe, better world.

History of International Men’s Day

In the 1960s, there were calls to observe an International Men’s Day which would be equivalent to the widely celebrated International Women’s Day. Professor Thomas Oaster, who directed the Missouri Center for Men’s Studies at the University of Missouri–Kansas City at the time, organized small events in the USA, Australia and Malta in 1993 and 1994. Interestingly, the longest running celebration of International Men’s Day is Malta, where events have occurred annually since 1994. However, the movement lost steam due to the poorly celebrated 1995 edition. Several countries celebrated the event on different days and it wasn’t until 1999 that they came together to unanimously celebrate the event on 19th November, which was partly due to the work of Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Read about other important annual dates

The history of International Men’s Day has to do with focusing on issues that are unique to men and boys’ day-to-day experiences with a prime focus on males having positive role models that they can look up to and who break the mold of boys being “naturally badly behaved”.

2019 Theme: Making A Difference for Men & Boys

The 2019 theme is focused on promoting the need to value men and boys, and making practical improvements in their health and well-being.


* IMD Coordination Committee

International Men’s Day –

International Men’s Day –

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This article was first published on 19th November 2019


Ibiene loves poetry and good books. She is the author of a collection of poems and short stories, 'Loving Gladys' (2020).

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