International Men's Day - 2010
International Men's Day was inaugurated in St. Kitts and Nevis on November 19, 2010. The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs is using the occasion of International Men’s Day to highlight issues affecting and involving men. International Men’s Day was observed on Friday and a few activities, such as a health fair, a church service and a panel discussion on general men’s issues were organized by the ministry.
Ms. Sharon Rattan, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Affairs said the Gender Affairs Department wants to reach out more to men as previously they focused mostly on women issues. Ms. Rattan told WINN FM that it was their hope to use the opportunity to gather more information about the issues affecting men to guide their plan of action in the future. “We are trying to get men together and engage their minds on the issues that affect them so that we can go forward and support them,” Ms. Rattan said, adding that the programs would also cater to young boys.
Mr. Rattan joined the ministry earlier this year. WINN FM asked if there were existing programs geared towards men. “Coming to the ministry there was a program on relationships. What we are trying to do this time is to broaden programs to look at our boys and our men,” Ms Rattan said. International Men’s Day is annually held on November 19 and focuses on improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, producing responsible males and highlighting positive male role models. It also looks at addressing issues such as parenting, positive male role models, families and healthy life choices for men.
The inaugural International Men’s Day was held in Trinidad and Tobago on November 19 in 1999. Representatives from organizations such as the UN expressed support for the event, although it is not an official UN observance. A petition has called for the UN to make International Men’s Day an official UN observance in the interest of equality. (November 21, 2010)