Since the 1990s, International Men’s Day has been celebrated as a global initiative to celebrate men’s positive masculinity while addressing men’s health issues to raise awareness about the challenges they face in contemporary society. It is an attempt to break away from harmful stereotypes to honour their contribution to society, marriage, community, and family. Thus the day, which includes supporting not only sportsmen and film stars but also regular working-class men who lead morally upright lives, is a celebration of men’s compassion, integrity, and responsibility.
“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we know nothing about.Jonathan Harnisch
The quote emphasizes the silent battles individuals may face internally but which may go unnoticed by others. It also hints at the need of a compassionate understanding of men’s experiences in order to dismantle society’s stereotype of men to be stoic and resilient because as the World Health Organization (WHO) reports, suicide is the main cause of death for men under the age of forty-five. Although it is women who are mostly diagnosed with depression, men are the most likely to commit suicide. One crucial reason for this issue is the society’s cultural perspectives and gender expectations, which neglect the deep need to communicate their inner dialogue.
With regard to that, this year International Men’s Day is observed under the theme of Zero Male Suicide. The aim is to improve the manner in which the world addresses and resolves their unique mental and physical health issues. The day provides the global dialogue to raise awareness and contribute to the well-being of manhood and masculinity. This involves encouraging institutions, organizations, and individuals to identify the causes of male suicide and try to find solutions to create a protective environment for men in all nations. The day is also a means of conveying that they have access to essential tools needed to build a safe environment essential for nurturing, growth and development of men.
Therefore, International Men’s Day opens up an excellent opportunity to take part in a global conversation about men’s issues in order to positively celebrate their role in society. Instead of framing men into the conventional portrait of strong, unaffected image, there should be the acknowledgement of them as human beings to open up and communicate the true qualities of masculinity. As we celebrate the day, let us strive for a society that values and supports men in their journey towards positive and responsible manhood.