International Men's Day
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UNESCO comes out in Support of International Men's Day

November 20, 2001

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has come out in support of International Men’s Day (IMD) which started in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999.

Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Ms. Ingeborg BREINES, Director of Women and Culture of Peace, said: “This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance.” She added that her organisation was looking forward to cooperating with the organisers of the IMD.

The objectives of celebrating an International Men's Day include improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, producing responsible males and highlighting positive male role models.” [retrieved Dec 2009]

Jerome Teelucksingh: We should strive for gender equality

November 20, 2001

CBTT’s Jerome Teelucksingh, a postgraduate student at UWI said: “In public forums, discussion groups and conferences, attempts are being made to address and seek solutions to the problems facing males in today's society.” He expressed hope that men interested in improving themselves and reforming other males would be part of this ongoing "Men's Revolution" and annually celebrate International Men's Day.

Teelucksingh, who along with Harrack Balramsingh coordinated the IMD, added: “We should strive for gender equality and reform whilst we remove the stereotypes and the stigma usually associated with men in our society.”

Balramsingh pleaded with men to support the IMD in order to promote better relationships with women and to help their sons become more responsible adults in society. He said: There are many good men in society who are concerned about the increase of incest, rape, domestic violence and substance abuse in the home and are willing to help alleviate these serious social ills, most of which are committed by males.”

Balramsingh lamented the scarcity of male teachers in many schools, adding that “in a society where many families are headed by women, it is sad if our young men cannot see male role models in our homes and schools. No wonder we are having so many problems with our young men.” He said: “Our society does not provide enough positive male role models and pointed out that “the family, church and school have all fallen short.”

Also speaking at the third International Men's Day observance at the Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, McBean, Couva yesterday were Sattie Sundar, head of the Bronte Village Women’s group; Dalip Singh of Alcohol Anonymous: Mr. Gregory Sloane-Seale of the YMCA; Ms. Jacquie Burgess of Caribbean Association For Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA); Pastor and columnist Kenneth Niles, Dr. Robert Mulctrie, Director of the International Institute of Self-Esteem, health, peace and anger, and Dr. Rakib Buckridan, a family and marriage counsellor. [retrieved Dec 2009]

Men told to improve their self-esteem

November 20, 2001

“Low self esteem can cause poor and dysfunctional relationships, lead to depression and can create in one’s mind a very bleak and negative outlook on life.”

So said female activist Jacqueline Burgess while speaking at the third International Men’s Day (IMD) observance hosted by Citizens For A Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, McBean, Couva on Monday.

Burgess, a founding member of the organisation Women Working for Social Progress, known also as Workingwomen, added: “once you realize you are being overcome by a negative sense of yourself, there is the possibility of improving your self-esteem.” She said it was not always easy for the affected individual to articulate what was taking place and therefore, those who were around and observing must take the responsibility of restoring that life.

She pointed out: “A variety of factors can contribute to low self-esteem, including but not limited to poor relationships with parents or siblings, being victims or perpetrators of physically, sexually or mentally abusive relationships and the experiencing of discriminatory practices in your personal or professional life.”

Burgess said that from her observance, “many young males exude high self-esteem.” However, she added, it seems during their adolescent years, they tend to go through some rough patches and their self-esteem seems to dip. This,” she added, “ may come about through cruelty of their peers or perhaps the inability to be with the in crowd, in terms of wearing ‘brands’.”

She continued: “During this period of stress and storm, life’s changes and the passages to manhood, we find that young men are faced with making important decisions. They are faced with life questions, which may have to do with the importance of education, employment, relationships and life in general.” She said: “ These questions no doubt are challenging for many, and how they are dealt with can determine the sense of self, realised. Women too,” she added, “ go through enormous pressures in adolescent, but presumably because of their socialization the manifestations are different.”

Burgess said: “From a very young age, some males are not viewed by others in a positive light, and are told of it constantly, and thus they tend to grow up with a negative sense of self. She pointed out: “Men are sometimes at the receiving end of derogatory remarks surrounding their endowments. They are required to be well endowed physically especially where it concerns their physical prowess. These expectations,” she said, “contribute to a diminishing of their sense of self.”

She continued: “Jokes about men’s inadequacies, how they look, how they smell, how short they are, are damaging to some. The vision of a tall, dark, handsome, sleek and hard man is a wish for most, but reality for few, but men are made to feel wanting if they do not fit that statuesque model of how a man should look.”

She said: Money or the lack of it, is another contributing factor to the low self-esteem.” Burgess added: “Again to be recognised as a ‘real man’ you must be able to demonstrate that you are in a position of driving a car, sometimes it could be old and half-way beaten up, but you are driving a car. Along with the wheels the man should be able to have enough money to entertain women, flash his cell phone and from all appearances look wealthy. A man who cannot appear to be so favoured is overlooked for others.”

She stated that another expression of low self-esteem was jealousy. “It is with this reaction that we find the occurrences of domestic violence, rape, incest, and economic violence being played out, which could also result in murder.” She pointed out: “A hurting ego seeks revenge and the revenge manifests itself in many ways, including self-destruction – suicide.”

Burgess told men that to improve their self-esteem they should believe in themselves, plan and set attainable goals, let go of the past hurt and forgive others, and exercise and look good. [retrieved Dec 2009]

Men’s Day observance well attended

November 21, 2001

People of all walks of life assembled at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre in Couva on November 19 to celebrate the third International Men’s Day (IMD) observance hosted by the non-governmental organization Citizens For A Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT).

Topics discussed included the secrets to a successful marriage, how to handle the trauma of divorce, the scourge of domestic violence, self-esteem and gender equality.

The Men’s Day, which was initiated in this country in 1999, received the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). A number of organisations in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean also joined in this year’s celebrations.

Among the presenters at the Men’s Day function on November 19 were Gregory Sloane-Seale, executive member of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition on the Rights of the Child; Jacqueline Burgess a founding member of the organisation Women Working for Social Progress; Sattie Sundar, head of the Bronte Village Women’s group, Dalip Soobarsingh of Alcohol Anonymous, Pastor Kenneth Niles, Dr. Robert Mulctrie, Director of the International Institute of Self-Esteem, health, peace and anger, Dr. Rakib Buckridan, a family and marriage counselor and co-coordinators Harrack Balramsingh and Jerome Teelucksingh

Other contributions came from Arjun Teeluck Janki of the Divine Life Society of T&T, former school principal Dr. Rosabelle Seesaran, Sam Lewis of the South Regional Mediation Centres, Dr. F. Rahimi of the Bahai Faith, Cindy Balramsingh of CBTT and Helen Pounder of the Rape Crises Centre.

Representatives of the Kabir Panth, Califonia Hindu Temple, Wesleyan Holiness Church, HOPE, Church of God of Prophecy, CAFRA, Rebirth House, St. Vincent De Paul, YMCA, Emanuel Christian Church and Family in Action were also present. [retrieved Dec 2009]

IMD - 2002

International Men’s Day observed for the 4th consecutive year in TT

November 20, 2002

International Men’s Day was celebrated for the fourth consecutive year on November 19, 2002 in Trinidad and Tobago where the observance originated in 1999. An official function was held at the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA), Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.

The International Men's Day Committee is hopeful that the United Nations would soon recognise the day because of its obvious importance to men around the world.

Speaking at this year’s men’s observance was Rakib Buckridan, a renowned psychologist; Harrack Balramsingh, social activist and IMD coordinator; Sam Lewis, director of the South Regional Mediation Centres; Luke Sinnette, co-coordinator of the Mentoring Programme at the YMCA; Jerome Teelucksingh, IMD coordinator and John Hackshaw, author and former trade unionist.

Cindy Balramsingh and Rudolph Sitahal entertained the audience in song and music. Other contributions came from representatives of Raja Yoga Centre, Jesus Christ of the latterDay Saints, the Pentecostal Church, Rebirth House, the Bahai Faith and a number of other non-governmental organizations.

Many of the social ills affecting the society including marriage, domestic violence, parenting, drug abuse and crime were discussed. TheInternational Men’s Day Committee pleaded with religious and community leaders as well as heads of educational institutions in Trinidad and around the world to join in the observation ofInternational Men’s Day every year on November 19. [retrieved Dec 2009]

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