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14 April, 2010

RECORDING, RECOGNIZING, AND REMEMBERING INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY: DR. JEROME TEELUCKSINGH


It is important that you record some or all of your involvement in International Men’s Day. Why? Future coordinators and supporters would be interested to know how they could continue your work and improve the observances. Additionally, it is important that your efforts are preserved for present and future researchers on gender relations, masculinity or the men’s movement. Photographs, audio recordings and newspaper clippings could be placed on websites, CDs or DVDs and donated to libraries and universities. Recording your achievements, plans and thoughts in a journal or blog is also a good idea. If resources are available, publish a pamphlet or booklet with recommendations or observations from your previous IMD observances. A short video posted on YouTube would certainly reach a wide audience. Be proud of your accomplishments!

Should there be a formal program for the observance of International Men’s Day ("IMD")? Should cultural events and religious persons be included in the observances of IMD? The answer to both questions depends on the coordinator and his/her team or group. You can have a formal meeting with events and speakers or you might opt for convening an informal gathering and then encourage spontaneous discussion on topics or a theme. Try to ensure there is diversity in your participants and audience and of course- avoid excluding any groups in society. Remember that even though IMD deals with serious issues the observances do not have to be dull and boring. Be creative and make the observances interesting, fun and exciting! For instance organize a quiz and give prizes for the winners.

Providing tangible tokens for participants and members of your audience will also help carry the message of International Men’s Day. Small tokens or souvenirs such as bookmarks, pens, jerseys, notepads, buttons, hats, pencils, stickers and posters could be distributed or sold at IMD observances. These souvenirs could have a logo or simply the words- International Men’s Day 19 November’. Recently a group suggested a calendar for IMD and each month had uplifting thoughts and a picture with fathers, grandfathers, teenagers. Each picture had men in positive everyday situations- having meals with their families, advising their children and at work. Such ideas will ensure that IMD is not confined to one day in the year but seen as an ongoing activity…a way of living.

Rewarding persons who have been promoting and supporting International Men’s Day will be appealing. On 19 November, coordinators might decide to present plaques, medals or certificates to outstanding persons in the community who adheres to the 6 Objectives of IMD. Anyone could be honored- a teenager who excels academically, a policewoman for assisting troubled youths in the neighbourhood, or a single dad who is a role model as he works and cares for his children. This recognition of persons in the community or country will provide role models for the public and also promote International Men’s Day.

Some persons and organizations have appreciated the importance of IMD and have been having activities a few days prior to 19 November. Is this permissible? Yes, the events and publicity in the days prior to, or after 19 November certainly helps increase awareness of this special Day and its significance.









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