HISTORY: The Origin of International Men’s Day and Why it is Celebrated Alongside Toilet Day

As the world is celebrating Men’s International Day on every 19th day of November, there’s a myriad of questions you ask yourself on why and how such a day came to be remembered.

Many have been complaining that women overpower men in as far as whose day is celebrated most.

Feminist’s have up to the time immemorial seen women as most vulnerable group in the society, disenfranchised by patriarchy and its brother machismo. Feminists arose to fight for the rights of women in the men dominated society.

Encouraging women to break the glass ceiling and outsmart the stereotyping society that women are weak and should always submit to men.
This saw women being subjects of all forms of discrimination in the society.

Literary discourses have arose to discuss the plight of women, and also history is permeated with stories of women who struggle to emancipate themselves from the so called oppression from men.

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Aristophanes’ Lysitrata and Shakespeare’s Hamlet are literary works that depicted the struggle women undergo in the Greek society, Margaret Ogola’s River and the Source also shows the struggle of women.

With such overwhelming works concerning the plight of women, the world seemed to forget the plight men face. Men go through a lot of struggles too and are sometimes overwhelmed. It is therefore argued that International Men’s Day was set aside to address issues affecting men and their contributions in the society and the world at large.

But how Did this Day Originate?

According to various sources, this day was initially planned in 1991 but first celebrated in 1992 by Thomas Oaster.

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Jerome Teelucksingh revived it by choosing November 19th to celebrate his father’s birthday and also celebrate the achievements of Trinidad and Tobago’s football team of uniting the country and their qualification to the world cup.

Dr. Teelucksingh therefore promoted the celebration of International Men’s Day to commemorate the issues affecting the boy child.

He claimed that the purpose of the day is to strive for gender equality and patiently attempt to remove the negative images and the stigma associated with men in the society.

This day is however coincidentally celebrated with World Toilet Day.

In 2013, the United Nations jointly with the government of Singapore made a resolution to raise awareness to the people worldwide who live without access to safely managed sanitation.

They aimed to tackle the global sanitation crisis with an aim to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation by 2030.

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This coincidence has sparked a lot of reactions from men, some say that one of the days ought to be shifted to another date so that each is celebrated differently. I bet you now understand men’s day and the coincidence it had to do with World’s Toilet Day.

Felix Yahil

Felix Yahil

Felix Chepkwony is a media enthusiast and a human rights defender. He is currently studying at Laikipia University and a chairperson of the Human Rights Club.

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