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Sunday is International Men’s Day: Men’s Activists demand a discussion on Men’s Issues at Parliament

Rajesh Vakharia

All over India, people are celebrating Movember to create awareness about Men’s Health and well being are being conducted all over India this month. Men grow mustaches during this month to create this awareness.

November 19 is also International Men’s Day, which was first celebrated in the year 1999. Today, people in more than 90 countries all over the world are celebrating International Men’s Day and it is spreading to more countries.

Just like last year, this year also many companies and businesses are expected to provide discounts and special offers on the eve of International Men’s day.

Members of Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), which focuses on men’s issues and well being has urged the members of parliament to allocate couple of hours on Tuesday 21st November to discuss issues related to Men and Boys.

In fact, since last couple of years the Parliament of United Kingdom (UK) is allocated one day for discussion on issues of men and boys, after MP Philip Davies demanded it. The same is followed this year also.

The important issues related to men and boys are:

  1. The emotional well being of men and boys.
  2. Issues of high suicide rates of men
  3. High Workplace accident deaths of men.
  4. Men’s physical and mental health issues
  5. Protection of men from domestic violence and rape. In India, the laws do not protect men from domestic violence and rape.
  6. High rate of child labor involving boys in India.
  7. Shared parenting and focus on separated men’s relationship with their children.
  8. Equal laws for men and women in the domain of family and sexual violence.9. Starting of Male studies and masculinity studies courses in Universities.

Without involving men and their issues, any real progress on different social challenges and women’s issues cannot be made. There are an estimated 3 crore male victims of domestic violence in India and they want to seek any protection or help from the Courts and Police. Many of these men are even threatened and arrested by police, if they try to seek help. Most male victims of domestic violence experience trauma and depression. Many also commit suicide.

With almost 7% of all marriages leading to separation, many men lose access to their own children after separation. If we need to have a better society, it is important to discuss all issues instead of just focusing on women’s issues and excluding men from any discussion.

It has to be noted that though most rich and powerful people in our country are men, but this power is not shared with rest 99% of ordinary men.

Every year, almost 100,000 men and boys commit suicide and out of these victim about 65,000 are married men. Most often the counselors, therapists and suicide prevention helplines are not effective enough to stop these suicides.

The companies also need to pitch in and do their part for well being of male employees. Most men do not share their problems because there is very little listening space for men, who are in a vulnerable state facing marital problems or litigation etc.

Companies have to realize that focusing a bit on men’s issues will improve their bottom line. It is estimated that productivity of almost 7% to 9% of male employees in public and private sector gets impacted due to marital, relationship or family problems. So, any focus on educating these men can not only help these men, prevent suicides, but also this will improve the company bottom line.

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