International Men’s Day (November 19th) has six main features, to bring attention to issues effecting men all around the globe. They are: male role models, the positive contribution of men in society, men’s health, improving gender relations, highlighting discrimination against men, and creating a safer world.
According to mental health charity, Calm, suicide is the biggest killer amoung men under the age of 45. In the UK, men are three times more likely than women to take their own lives, according to emotional support charity Samaritans. On average, 12 men in the British isles take their lives every single day.
The Samaritans’ annual suicide statistics report found, the rate of suicides among men in the UK and Ireland under the age of 44 dropped between 2016 and 2017 and the number of male suicides has also been decreasing year on year. However, the numbers are still high and critical. In 2017, 4,382 men took their own lives. In comparison, 1,439 women died by suicide in the same time frame: about four per day.
International Men’s Day coincides with Movember, which involves men growing their facial hair in an effort to promote conversations about men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
International Men’s Day also shines a light on other topics effecting men each day throughout the world.
According to the Department for Education’s statistics, Fewer boys finish secondary education with a minimum of five C grades at GCSE, including English and Maths. A 2014 report also showed that boys are three times more likely than girls to be excluded or expelled from school.
Physical health is also an important talking point for International Men’s Day. A report compiled by Men’s Health Forum in 2014 and revised in 2017, 19pc of men die before their 65th birthday. The biggest cause of death in men is cancer, followed by circulatory diseases.
The charity Rape Crisis found that every year, an average of around 1,000 men are raped every month in England and Wales alone. This is a particular problem in the gay community, with a survey from the Gay Men’s Health Project 62pc of gay men have been groped without consent, and 30pc described themselves as a “a survivor of sexual assault, abuse or rape.”
Homelessness is an issue which disproportionately affects men. A 2017 study from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Social Affairs found that 86pc of rough sleepers are men. Homeless charity Crisis also reports that 84pc of hidden homeless people (people who are at risk of eviction, sofa-surfing at friends and family, or living in unsatisfactory conditions) are men.
It is important to remember that these statics are vital throughout the year, and to ensure you are talking and helping your male friends and colleagues every day not just for International Men’s Day.