Russian President, Mikhail Gorbachev, first called for an international day to celebrate men in 1999 at the United Nations in Vienna. International Men's Day is celebrated on many different dates around the world with varying degrees of success.
To help standardize International Men's Day and increase its success the Indian 'Save the Family Foundation' launched an international campaign and called for the celebration of International Men's Day on 19th November along with Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago.
Australia is joining with India, which has the second largest male population in the world, to call other countries around the world to make 19th November 2008 a day to honour men for the contribution they make to their family, friends, work, community and nation.
Warwick Marsh, from the Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation said, "We contacted the leaders of the Save the Family Foundation in India, the leading advocates for International Men's Day, before sharing the vision with several leaders in the Australian men and father's movement at the National Shared Parenting Conference in Gosford, NSW on 14th June 2008. The response in Australia for an International Men's Day has been really positive. Already in Australia we have watched the phenomenal expansion of Movember, which promotes men's health, so it's great to see all these things happening for men in the month of November. Movember is exploding in influence around the world."
Mr Marsh continued, "The 19th November is historically a day of great significance for every Australian. In 1941 it was the day that the HMAS Sydney II was lost. The 19th November 2008 commemorates the loss of 645 men when the HMAS Sydney sank off the coast of Western Australia, the greatest loss of men's lives on any one day by Australian forces in World War II."
"The theme for the International Men's Day 2008 is 'Honour and Sacrifice'. This commemorates what our Aussie men, sons, fathers and grandfathers, both past and present, have sacrificed for their families, communities and nation," Mr Marsh said.
"We call on other countries to join in solidarity to celebrate the positive contribution that men make to the world on International Men's Day, Wednesday 19th November 2008."
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