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LOOKING BACK: 2010 INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY

For a brief moment, the earth stood still on its axis on Friday, 19 November 2010 as over approximately 30 nations observed International Men’s Day (www.international-mens-day.com) under the theme “Our Children . . . Our Future”. This year’s theme -- “Our Children . . . Our Future” celebrated the 48-hour partnership which International Men’s Day shares with Universal Children’s Day which was observed worldwide each year on November 20th. The celebrations of International Men’s Day around the globe took the form of, among other things, awards and recognition ceremonies that honored Men for contributions to their communities, children’s programs, a writing competition, and donations of books to schools.


Internationally acclaimed Fatherhood and Men’s Issues advocate and best-selling author Dr. Warren Farrell of the United States discussed the need for and importance of International Men’s Day in an interview which is featured on You Tube, conducted by Greg Andresen of Men’s Health Australia; and orchestrated by Jason Thompson, Historian and Global Promotions Coordinator for International Men’s DayIn Canada, the Mayor of Oshawa issued a proclamation declaring 19 November 2010 “International Men’s Day” in that city. The Mayor of Bolingbrook, Illinois in the United States also issued a proclamation which designated 19 November 2010 as “International Men’s Day” in Bolingbrook, Illinois. And the Governor of Michigan in the United States issued a proclamation honoring the observance of 2010 International Men’s Day.


A year-long collaboration among Men, Women, organizations, academic institutions, and a number of legislators and governmental officials culminated in the celebration of 2010 International Men’s Day taking place in countries around the globe that included Austria, Australia, Canada, China, Jamaica, Ghana, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Argentina, Denmark, Norway, St. Vincent, India, Italy, and Spain.


Dads On The Air Australia (www.dadsontheair.net) provided extensive coverage of 2010 International Men’s Day through interviews of Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D., the Founder of International Men’s Day and a number of Regional and Global Coordinators. The live on-air interviews were orchestrated by Kathryn Barrett and conducted by Bill Kable on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 and Tuesday, 30 November 2010. The Lithuanian media gave honorable mentioned to International Men’s Day (http://gyvenimas.delfi.lt/career/vyrams-ju-pasaulis-taip-pat-atrodo-per-ankstas.d?id=38810731).


International Men’s Day has six (6) Core Objectives which were put into place by Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D. in 1999 and formally ratified on 1 December 2009 by the International Men’s Day Coordination Committee. The six (6) Core Objectives which appear below, provide individuals and organizations who want to celebrate International Men’s Day in their communities with a framework and foundation for their celebrations:


• To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men 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 wellbeing; 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.


What was the impact of the worldwide celebration of 2010 International Men’s Day? How was 2010 International Men’s Day celebrated? A sample of the comments received and observations made about 2010 International Men’s Day appear below:


MARK MCCOSKER (Australia) made the following report: “This year the event was again a success in Australia, particularly in the State of Queensland. The -Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) promoted International Men's Day via its staff intranet site. The Queensland government Office of Fair Trading set up an International Men's Day display in the foyer of the Executive Annexe in the Brisbane CBD. The display included posters with free brochures and kits of information printed up from material available for download from the global website, as well as a free promotional IMD stubby holder. -The Director General of the Government Department of Education and Training Ms Julie Grantham issued an IMD request, ‘to reflect on the positive contribution of male teachers, work colleagues, friends and family as we celebrate International Men’s Day’. -The Mayor of the Queensland Gold Coast, Mr. Ron Clarke issued a press release reminding that, ‘This day is celebrated this Friday and while it is a day to raise awareness of issues facing men across Australia and the world, it is also a time to reflect on the people who have influenced our lives.’ Staff from the Hornsby Shire Council in New South Wales, along with representatives from the Hornsby Library gathered for a Morning Tea celebration of International Men's Day and Movember. Money was raised for Movember charities at the gathering. At Ulladulla in New South Wales an International Men's Day 'Men's Awards Day’ was held for the second consecutive year to award men who have contributed positively to the community of Ulladulla. All men who attended the event were given a free gift bag with International Men's Day badge, health-check recording booklet, and info about prostate cancer, depression and anxiety. Kay Knights of the Thanks Dad Photo Competition gathered together a selection of stunning photos of men and kids from the competition, making them into a slideshow set to classical guitar music as a special tribute to International Men's Day. The slide show was put onto YouTube to help celebrate International Men's Day. There were numerous other small events held and by all accounts the occasion was a success. For more about these and other events please see the Australian page of the IMD Global Website: http://www.international-mens-day.com/Australia.php.”



JASON THOMPSON (Australia) commented: “Wow, what a great year! IMD 2010 was celebrated in over 40 countries, with more than double the number participating than in 2009. The IMD website received nearly 400, 000 visits in November alone and at one point access to the Global IMD Website slowed due to the high volume of visitors. Along with traditional participating countries 2010 witnessed inaugurations in Canada, Germany, Austria, France, China, Pakistan, Spain, and various nations in South America and the Caribbean. International Men’s Day in the United States was particularly fruitful due to the work of USA coordinator Diane Sears and other regional U.S. coordinators. A popular theme for this year’s celebration was Our Children – Our Future, highlighting the many benefits to children of good male role models. Again participants worldwide were delighted to participate in a positive discourse about males. Following the success of this year’s celebrations individuals and organizations have put their hands up to act as 2011 coordinators working to inaugurate IMD in Zimbabwe, Mexico, and Ecuador and we expect more will nominate themselves throughout the coming year. I’m sure all will join me in saying it was a successful year and we look forward to celebrating IMD again in November 2011.”


DAVID HATFIELD (Canada) remarked: “Men and women from across town gathered in Vancouver to celebrate International Men's Day. Many people showed up to celebrations to take part in events like Broga which is yoga designed particularly for men and the male body, and to check out boths like Big Brothers and Kids Start. Participants could also write supportive messages to their fathers on an interactive board. Canadian IMD Coordinator David Hatfeild said, "Good honest, decent men need to be recognised. The second is to recognize and validate the significance challenges that boys and men face. This celebration is for men, women and families. We had a great start to International Men's Day and we'll be continuing on next year with bigger and bolder plans, and hopefully we well see more and more people coming to see what is this thing called International Men's Day?"


GLEN POOLE (United Kingdom) offered the following: “In England, The Men’s Network brought together 70 delegates working in health, education, community safety and fatherhood to explore how the city of Brighton & Hove can ‘Improve Services for Men and Boys’ in 2011. The Network also hosted a fundraising Tash Dash for local charities working for men and boys with 50 moustache-wearing men, women and children raising money by running 5km along the city’s seafront. The Men’s Network has taken on promoting International Men’s Day 2011 nationwide as the new UK co-ordinator for the event.”


MARIE CLARENCE (Hungary) remarked: “In Hungary, formerly being a member country of the Soviet Union, we still struggle with the old-fashioned gender concept and male and female roles these days. Unfortunately these roles are stereotyped largely by the media, formed by the celebrities and subtly by the tabloids. People tend to follow the role model of the previous generation with no sufficient consideration in which completely different values were respected in the society and within families as well. We have to face these roots when promoting IMD. We have to make it clear that men's roles are completely different from the stereotyped image of men. The same applies to women, still many of them misbelieve the mission of being a woman and representing the female gender, a.k.a. the weaker sex. In the future we must promote that men can be happy without the attributes that make ‘a man a man’, like unneccessarily expensive cars, the latest fashionable handies and other materialistic symbols. We still have openings to grow mentally and that is why the IMD celebration is an excellent opportunity to get genders equally balanced and their roles properly lived in our everyday lives.”


UMA CHALLA (India) responded: “In the recent years, it has become common practice to neglect, ill-treat, demean and discriminate against men in the society. Undermining the positive contributions of majority of men and exaggerating the misdeeds of a few has serious impact on the psyche of men and the self-image of young men and boys. Discrimination against men in areas of social services, social attitudes, social expectations and law is very demoralizing to the common men who lead decent, honest lives. International men’s day is about celebrating and honoring men in our lives for all the contributions, services and sacrifices they make for the well-being of the family and society. It is an opportunity to revive respect towards men and improve gender relations. It is an occasion to promote positive male role models, to reinforce the self-esteem and pride of young men and boys about being male. It is a day to remind everyone of the fact that men are human too and that they desire and deserve love, care and respect just as much as women do.”


YOUSAF JAMAL (Pakistan) commented: "Our International Men's Day seminar was held on 19th of November 2010 for the very first time in Pakistan. As many as 100 people from all walks of life such as lawyers, educationists, business men, industrialists, shop keepers, labourers, and social activists attended the seminar. About 15 percent of the participants were female, which is a positive event in Pakistan.  Speakers paid tributes to men who have improved the quality of the society. Lawyers detailed why the discriminatory laws and discriminatory provisions of family law in Pakistan should be removed. Mention was made of the practice of social media portraying males negatively, and education of young men was raised a major concern, with the number of females in in Karachi University at 90% and Punjab University at 70%, due to the fact that males are expected to work for a family income at the expense of receiving an education. The resultant poor male literacy rate was further linked to poverty. In these discussions women were applauded for thier acheivements and the men extended thier best wishes while highlighting areas where males need support.


DIANE A. SEARS (United States) offered the following observation: “Awareness of and participation in International Men’s Day has grown exponentially in 2010 and this is due to the excellent work of our Regional Coordinators – John D. Evans in Ilinois; Brian Hall in Michigan; Odetta Wright in Virginia; Kamal Abdool in Florida; Douglass Capogrossi, Ph.D. in Hawaii; Tim Mann in California; Dr. Sheila Radford-Hill at Luther College in Iowa; the collaborative efforts of The Brothers Network, the Moonstone Arts Center, the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers, and John Gonzalez in Philadelphia; and . Reverend Philip Craig and Cathleen Williams in New York. Awards and recognition ceremonies honoring Men who had made valuable contributions to their communities were held in Virginia, Philadelphia, and New York. Under the leadership of Dr. Sheila Radford-Hill, Luther College in Iowa conducted its inaugural observance of 2010 International Men’s Day. Students at the Decorah, Iowa academic institution created a FACEBOOK fan page and International Men’s Day Hero’s Wall in the Dahl Centennial Student Union. Students and staff members shared stories about their heroes on the Wall. The New York International Men’s Day Academy of Kings Award Ceremony orchestrated by Reverend Philip Craig and Cathleen Williams on Friday, 19 November 2010 also produced a theme song – ‘To Be A Man’ for New York’s observance of 2010 International Men’s Day. The Mayor of Bolingbrook, Illinois issued a proclamation designating Friday, 19 November 2010 as ‘International Men’s Day’ and an awards ceremony and reception was also held in Illinois which presented awards to winners of the Illinois International Men’s Day Statewide Writing Competition. The Governor of Michigan issued a proclamation which designated Friday, 19 November 2010 as “International Men’s Day” throughout the state of Michigan. A two-day inaugural celebration of International Men’s Day was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On Friday, 19 November 2010, an awards and recognition ceremony and reception was held to honor two gentlemen who devoted over 25 years of their respective careers to positively enhancing the lives of Philadelphians and helping to make the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan area a great place to live and work. On Saturday, 20 November 2010, in commemoration of Universal Children’s Day and International Men’s Day, a collaboration among three organizations produced the “Fathers, Children & Books’ program which introduced children from the ages of 2 through 12 to the world of books and to three authors of children's books -- internationally acclaimed playwright and author Mr. Charles Fuller who penned a children's book entitled, ‘Snatch’; Diane Turner who penned a children's book entitled, ‘My Name Is Oney Judge’, and Sandra Turner-Barnes who penned a children's book entitled, ‘Beyond The Back Of The Bus’. This event placed the focus on children and highlighted the theme of 2010 International Men's Day – ‘Our Children . . . Our Future’.”









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