House of Commons to host historic International Men’s Day Debate
House of Commons to host historic International Men’s Day Debate – week after Prime Ministerial endorsement
“A historic and landmark moment”
The first ever Parliamentary debate1 on the floor of the House of Commons chamber for International Men’s Day (19 November) will take place on Thursday 17 November 2016. This follows the first ever endorsement2 by a Prime Minister and Government as Rt.Hon. Theresa May MP stated last week “I recognise the important issues that this event seeks to highlight”.
This highlights the growing seriousness now taken by both Government and Parliament in tackling a range of issues affecting men and boys. These include male suicide, men’s health, educational underperformance, homelessness, fatherhood, sexual violence, domestic abuse, workplace safety and post-traumatic stress disorder. A number of these issues were discussed last year, when for the first time, there was a Westminster Hall debate on these matters.
As well as the Parliamentary Debate, there are over 30 events3 and campaigns marking International Men’s Day across the UK, all with the theme4 of making a Difference for Men and Boys. These range from health events, mental health campaigns, a domestic abuse conference campaigns, staff events, exhibitions, debates, plays and educational days.
The International Men’s Day team5 in the UK, said: “This is a historic and landmark moment. With both the Prime Minister’s and the Government’s support, and now with a full Parliamentary debate, there is now clear proof of the growing acceptance and recognition of issues of inequality affecting men and boys. We look forward to politicians from across the political spectrum taking part in the debate.”
“For far too long, issues affecting men and boys have been never been on the political agenda leading to a lack of interest, little focus and minimal services. Both the Prime Minister and Parliament have now given a clear signal to all other politicians, and the public sector as a whole, of the need to step up to the plate by ensuring they have both practical policies and are taking action.
“We are now starting to move to a gender inclusive society where issues affecting men and boys are recognised in the same way as issues affecting women and girls rightly are.”
Notes to Editors
(1) Future business of the House of Commons: http://calendar.parliament.uk/calendar/Commons/All/2016/11/17/Daily
(2) Women and Equalities Oral questions (27 October 2016) – http://bit.ly/2fjNN6V
It was revealed that the Prime Minster, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, supports the important issues the Day seeks to address and highlight:
“I recognise the important issues that this event seeks to highlight, including men’s health, male suicide rates and the underperformance of boys in schools, these are serious issues that must be addressed in a considered way.”
This was further supported by Government Ministers with Caroline Dinenage MP, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Women, Equalities and Early Years, who stated:
“…as parents of sons up and down the country we will all be conscious about the issues he has mentioned and the Prime Minister has mentioned.”
“International Men’s Day in the UK does take a very gender-inclusive approach and therefore believes that issues affecting women and girls are also to be resolved”
“I am aware that there are 60 countries around the world that celebrate International Men’s Day and there are various different ways that they do that, focusing on men’s health and wellbeing, highlighting discrimination against men and any inequalities they face, improving gender relations and gender equality. This creates a safer world for everybody, Mr Speaker, and is always to be commended.”
(3) The full range of events and campaigns marking International Men’s Day can be found at www.ukmensday.org.uk/events
(4) The UK theme for the Day continues to be Making a Difference for Men and Boys.
The theme is designed to help more people consider what action we can all take to Make a Difference by addressing some of the issues that affect Men and Boys such as:
- The high male suicide rate
- The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education including attainment
- Men’s health, shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths
- The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care 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
The key issue of focus at a national level for 2016 is “supporting boys with their academic, employment, personal, social and health education“. There will also be a continuation of the attention on male suicide. International Men’s day also coincides with International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
(5) The International Men’s Day Team are
Glen Poole, UK Coordinator of International Men’s Day
Dan Bell, Features Editor, insideMAN magazine
Mark Brooks, Chair, The ManKind Initiative charity
Martin Daubney, Journalist and broadcaster
Ally Fogg, Writer and Journalist
Dr Ben Hine, Lecturer in Psychology, University of West London
For further information
Please visit: www.ukmensday.org.uk
Telephone: Mark Brooks on 07834 452357
Dan Bell on 07747 463255