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International Men’s Day: What, Why, and How to Celebrate

International Men’s Day (IMD) is a global awareness day that aims to celebrate the positive value of men and boys in society, and to address the challenges and issues that they face. It is observed annually on November 19, and it has been endorsed by the United Nations and various governments, organizations, and individuals around the world.

In this blog post, we will explore the history, objectives, theme, and activities of IMD, and answer some frequently asked questions about this important occasion. We will also share some ideas and tips on how you can join the celebration and show your appreciation and support for the men and boys in your life.

History of International Men’s Day

The idea of having a day to honor men and their contributions to society dates back to the early 20th century, when some countries, such as Brazil and Romania, celebrated Men’s Day on February 23, coinciding with the Feast of Saint Joseph.

However, the modern IMD was initiated in 1992 by Thomas Oaster, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who organized an event on February 7 to promote men’s health and well-being.

The project was revived in 1999 by Jerome Teelucksingh, a lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, who chose November 19 as the new date for IMD, to commemorate his father’s birthday and the 1989 football team that united the country.

Since then, IMD has grown into a global movement, with more than 80 countries participating in various events and campaigns to raise awareness and celebrate men’s achievements.

Objectives of International Men’s Day

According to the official website of IMD, the objectives of celebrating this day are set out in “The Six Pillars of International Men’s Day”, which are:

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

Theme of International Men’s Day 2024

Each year, IMD adopts a theme that reflects the current issues and challenges that men and boys face, and that encourages positive action and change. The theme for IMD 2024 is “Positive Male Role Models”.

This theme recognizes the importance of having good examples and mentors for men and boys, especially in a time when many negative stereotypes and images of masculinity are prevalent in the media and society. It also celebrates the men who have made a difference in their families, communities, and the world, and who inspire others to do the same.

Some of the positive male role models that IMD 2024 honors include:

  • Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who fought against apartheid and racism, and who advocated for reconciliation and democracy.
  • Malala Yousafzai’s father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who supported his daughter’s education and activism, and who founded the Malala Fund, a global organization that works to empower girls through education.
  • Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who is one of the world’s richest and most influential philanthropists, and who has donated billions of dollars to various causes, such as global health, education, and poverty alleviation.
  • David Attenborough, the renowned naturalist and broadcaster, who has produced and narrated countless documentaries and series that showcase the beauty and diversity of nature, and who has raised awareness and action for environmental conservation and climate change.
  • Keanu Reeves, the popular actor and producer, who is known for his humble and generous personality, and who has donated millions of dollars to various charities, such as cancer research, children’s hospitals, and animal welfare.

Activities of International Men’s Day

There are many ways to celebrate IMD, depending on your interests, goals, and resources. Some of the common activities that people and organizations do on this day include:

  • Holding conferences, seminars, workshops, and lectures on topics related to men’s issues, such as health, education, employment, violence, fatherhood, and mental health.
  • Organizing fundraisers, donations, and volunteer work for charities and causes that support men and boys, such as prostate cancer, suicide prevention, homelessness, and domestic abuse.
  • Hosting awards, ceremonies, and competitions to recognize and honor the achievements and contributions of men and boys in various fields and sectors, such as arts, sports, science, and business.
  • Conducting campaigns, rallies, and marches to raise awareness and advocate for the rights and needs of men and boys, such as gender equality, anti-discrimination, and anti-bullying.
  • Creating and sharing media content, such as articles, blogs, podcasts, videos, and social media posts, that highlight the positive stories and messages of men and boys, and that challenge the negative stereotypes and myths about masculinity.
  • Having fun and recreational activities, such as games, sports, hobbies, and entertainment, that promote bonding and friendship among men and boys, and that enhance their physical and mental well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions about International Men’s Day

Here are some of the common questions and answers that people may have about IMD:

  • Q: Is IMD anti-women or anti-feminist?
  • A: No, IMD is not against women or feminism. On the contrary, IMD supports and respects women and their rights, and it recognizes the value and importance of gender equality and harmony. IMD does not seek to compete or compare with women, but to complement and cooperate with them. IMD also acknowledges and appreciates the role and influence of women in the lives of men and boys, such as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends, and colleagues.
  • Q: Is IMD necessary or relevant?
  • A: Yes, IMD is necessary and relevant, because men and boys face many challenges and issues that need attention and action, such as health, education, violence, suicide, and discrimination. IMD also provides an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the positive value and impact of men and boys in society, and to encourage them to reach their full potential and happiness.
  • Q: How can I get involved or support IMD?
  • A: You can get involved or support IMD by participating in or organizing any of the activities mentioned above, or by creating your own. You can also spread the word and raise awareness about IMD by using the official logo, hashtag, and website of IMD, which are:
    • Logo: A blue ribbon with the words “International Men’s Day” and the date “19 November”.
    • Hashtag: #InternationalMensDay or #IMD2024
    • Website:

How to Celebrate International Men’s Day

If you are looking for some ideas and tips on how to celebrate IMD, here are some suggestions that you can try:

  • Express your gratitude and appreciation to the men and boys in your life, such as your father, brother, husband, son, friend, or colleague, by saying thank you, giving a hug, writing a card, sending a gift, or doing something nice for them.
  • Learn more about the history, objectives, theme, and activities of IMD, and share your knowledge and insights with others. You can also research and discover more about the positive male role models that IMD honors, and learn from their examples and lessons.
  • Join or start a conversation about men’s issues and experiences, and listen and empathize with the perspectives and feelings of men and boys. You can also offer your support and advice, or seek help and guidance, if you or someone you know is facing any difficulties or challenges.
  • Take care of your health and well-being, and encourage other men and boys to do the same. You can do this by having a check-up, eating well, exercising, sleeping, relaxing, and avoiding harmful habits, such as smoking, drinking, and drugs.
  • Have fun and enjoy yourself, and invite other men and boys to join you. You can do this by playing games, watching movies, reading books, listening to music, or doing any hobbies or interests that you like.


International Men’s Day is a day to celebrate the positive value of men and boys in society, and to address the challenges and issues that they face. It is a day to honor the achievements and contributions of men and boys in various fields and sectors, and to inspire them to be the best versions of themselves. It is also a day to improve gender relations and promote gender equality, and to create a safer, better world for everyone.

We hope that this blog post has given you some information and inspiration about IMD, and that you will join us in celebrating this important occasion. Happy International Men’s Day! 

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