International Men’s Day this ‘Movember’

It’s almost that time of the year again… and it’s all about the boys!
International Men’s Day is globally celebrated every year on November 19 and recognizes the cultural,
political, and socioeconomic contributions of men worldwide. This year, the aim of International Men’s
Day 2021 is to improve gender relations and promote gender equality for both men and women under
the theme “Better relations between men and women.” Beyond the 19 th , the entire month of November
has become an occasion to discuss men’s health, highlight social issues that impact men greatly, and
promote positive expressions of masculinity.

‘Movember’ does a wonderful job of promoting positive masculinity and awareness of male health
issues. Now a global movement with more than five million supporters all over the globe, Movember
began in Australia in 2003 when a few friends hatched the idea to grow a moustache for the month of
November. The guys then asked their families, friends, and colleagues to donate cash to support men’s
health and raise awareness of different health issues. The trend took off in the following years, with
men all over the globe becoming noticeably hairier in November!

Although seen as humorous and fun, Movember brings attention to some extremely serious issues,
namely prostate and testicular cancer, as well as suicide prevention. According to the World Health
Organization (WHO), prostate cancer is the third most common diagnosed malignancy in 2020.
With 1,414,259 cases (7.3% of the total amount of cancer diagnoses), prostate cancer is preceded only
by lung and colorectal cancer with 2,206,771 and 1,148,515 cases respectively (11.4 and 10.0%).
Similarly, testicular cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in young adult men,
particularly between the ages of 30 to 39. In 2020, there were an estimated 3,100 new cases of the
disease in the 30 to 39 age group and 3,000 new cases in the 20 to 29 age group. The average age of
diagnosis is 33. Finally, discourse about positive mental health is always high on the agenda every
November because, shockingly, suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 55 with roughly 3 in
every 4 suicides perpetrated by males. This is why Movember is so central to International Men’s Day: it
highlights three of the most fatal health issues for men that don’t usually get discussed.

So, as workplaces and social circles throughout the world observe men’s facial hair becoming longer and
thicker throughout the month, let’s prioritize men’s good health and celebrate the great contributions
of men to our world. Happy International Men’s Day – enjoy marking it in your own unique way