International Men’s Day in the UK: 2021 is the biggest ever!
In the UK, this year’s International Men’s Day is biggest ever, involving over 250 organisations. The likelihood that the public support will surpass 2020 where there was a huge response on social media (195,000 #internationalmensday tweets) and attendance at meetings, conferences and service launches. The event is used as a platform for organisations and the public to focus on men and boys’ wellbeing, support charities working in this area and also to promoting a positive conversation about men, manhood and masculinity.
International Men’s Day in the UK has grown over the past decade from just 12 organisations being involved in 2012 with the Men and Boys Coalition charity responsible for the event platform. There are now community events, mental health discussions, award announcements, student events, charity promotion campaigns, political events, lectures, conferences, staff support days, film showings, get-togethers and fundraisers.
Many of the events run by employers, charities and universities are focussing on mental health and other health issues which are especially important given that 13 men die by suicide every day, 32 die due to prostate cancer and one in five men do not live until 65. Boys are also behind girls throughout education, 85% of rough sleepers are men and over 750,000 men suffer from domestic abuse every year (see ten key facts: https://ukmensday.org.uk/key-facts/)
Many charities are also using International Men’s Day to launch new services, campaigns and research with sports clubs (including football) using it to encourage their fans to seek help and talk if they are struggling (information and lists can be found in the Annex under Notes to Editors).
Mark Brooks OBE, National Ambassador of International Men’s Day UK, said:
“The fact that so many organisations across the UK have embraced International Men’s Day this year shows how much the wellbeing of men and boys matter. It is a time where everyone can come together and focus on recognising and finding solutions to the issues they face – the hallmark of an inclusive society.
“International Men’s Day also provides an important opportunity to showcase the brilliant work of charities that support men and boys which are growing in number and in scale. Many are using the day to launch new services, campaigns and initiatives.” –
“We are also expecting a huge response again from the public especially on social media to urge men who need support to reach out and talk. It is expected that again there will also be thousands of women marking International Men’s Day with warm messages about how important their fathers, brothers, sons, male friends and colleagues are to them.
“International Men’s Day is an inclusive platform and fully supports International Women’s Day. Many, of events and social media activity are Ied by women. This shows men and boys, and, women and girls recognise they share their lives society together.”
(1) The type of activities and organisations include:
- Employers supporting their male staff with wellbeing events including: Tesco, Balfour Beatty, BASF, HMRC, Home Office, Civil Service, Aviva, Frog Systems and the Insurance Institute of Manchester.
- Charities launching services, running campaigns or speaking at employer events including Prostate Cancer UK, UK Men’s Sheds, ManKind Initiative (domestic abuse), Men’s Health Forum, Men and Boys Coalition (national men and boys awards), MIND, the Fatherhood Institute, RNLI, Widowed and Young, Age UK, Stockport Without Abuse, Survivors Manchester and Black Country Women’s Aid.
- TV and Personalities include ITV’s Loose Women becoming “Loose Men” (with Vernon Kay hosting) alongside Mike Tindall, Ore Oduba and Iain Stirling. Other well-known people include Gareth Thomas and Clarke Carlisle.
- House of Commons (Parliament Debate on 25 November) in Westminster Hall at 1.30pm for three hours.
- Universities, colleges and schools who are involved include Universities UK, Newcastle University, Harrogate College, Hugh Baird College and University Centre, DLD College, Open Study College, Worcester University Students Union, Coventry University Student Union, Edge Hill University, Swansea University, Liverpool Hope University and University of Bradford.
- Sports Clubs are getting involved such as Burnley FC, Ipswich Town FC, Burton Albion Athletic FC, Essex County FA, Harrogate Town FC, Plymouth Argyle FC, Bedford Athletics Centre, Lincoln City FC and Kent County Cricket Club.
- Health Bodies include: Great Ormond Street, Leicestership NHS Trust, Institute of Health & Social Care at LSBU, Leeds Health Forum, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, Men’s Health Unlocked, Peppy Health, Engage Programme, Luton Total Wellbeing, Men’s Health Unlocked (Leeds) and Northants Healthcare
- Other organisations involved include Advertising Standards Authority, Interflora, RSA Scotland, RAF Wyton, West Northamptonshire Council, Cheshire Police and Lincolnshire Police.
A full list (which is being updated daily) can be found at: https://ukmensday.org.uk/international-mens-day-2021-rolling-list/
(2) Three Themes
The Men and Boys Coalition charity is responsible for International Men’s Day in the UK and the three themes in the UK are:
- 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
(3) Core Wellbeing Issues:
- The high male suicide rate
- The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education and work including attainment, re-training, redundancy and unemployment
- Men’s health (including male cancers), shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths – plus the health impact of Covid-19
- The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care, school exclusions and the high rate of male deaths in custody)
- Male victims of violence, including sexual violence
- The challenges faced by men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers
- Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery
- The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers
A full list of facts can be found here: https://ukmensday.org.uk/key-facts/