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International Men’s Day is a little known day in the International Calendar that was first started in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh. He was a history lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad Tobago. He chose November 19 to honour his father's birthday. It is now recognised in 80 countries around the globe, however, it is still relatively unknown in most of those. In 2021, a passionate local team, led by leadership coach and host of the podcast ‘Man Reimagined’ Malcolm Nicholls, are launching the day in New Zealand through the Men Stepping Up initiative. 


The day is an opportunity to create a different level of societal discussion about men, one where we recognise the great things we contribute, while also acknowledging that there are things that we need to heal and action we can take to make change. International Men’s Day creates an opportunity to show that men care. That we care about the wellbeing of men in our life and that we care about creating a society of equity and equality between men and women.

Creating positive change and inspiring meaningful action is the focus.  International Men’s day doesn’t sugar coat the tough conversations that need to be had. Instead, it’s about giving people the tools to start those conversations. 


For a number of years it feels like there has been a growing call for men to address the many issues that we face as a gender and within society. Two of the most powerful issues in front of us are the inequity between men and women, and the dislocation that many men experience about what it means to be a man and how this impacts their willingness to open up about topics like mental health. As this call has been growing it feels like many men agree that we need to do something about these two issues, however, most of us don’t know how to show our support, or how to bring about positive change. As a result the majority of men have sat in passive silence, which has often been mistaken for not caring. But this is not true. We do care, and International Men’s Day is an opportunity for us to come together, step up, and show it. We have an opportunity to create a level of societal discussion about men - the great things we can contribute and also the things that we need to heal and address, with openness and understanding.