International Men’s Day celebration for Jamaica Pegasus on Wednesday
While Jamaica joined the rest of the world in marking International Men’s Day (IMD) on Sunday, November 19, the annual IMD celebration will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Wednesday.
Gender Minister, Olivia Grange, said the aim of the celebration is to highlight how men need the support of the entire nation as they navigate and balance their lives, while still building the nation.
She was speaking during a ministerial statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. She noted that IMD 2023 was celebrated internationally under the theme, ‘Zero Male Suicide’ with the local theme being ‘Men and Mental Health: Men-Tally Aware, Men-Tally Prepared!!!’.
Grange said the local theme will be central to Wednesday’s activities as there will be a panel discussion, with leading figures, “as we navigate this intricate and problematic issue of mental health and suicide”.
The gender minister said there will also be a symbolic opening of the Bureau of Gender Affairs’ (BGA) Male Empowerment Unit, an upgrade from what was just a desk situated inside the Bureau.
Grange informed that the BGA will hold its annual IMD health fair in the community of Kellits, Clarendon, aimed at information sharing, screening, testing and presentations on healthy lifestyle practices. The health fair will be open to the public, with a special focus on men and boys in and around the surrounding community. There will be presentations on topics including mental health and suicide, prostate cancer, sexual lifestyle practices and behavior.
“We also plan to conduct checks: blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and diabetes, HIV testing, prostate cancer screening, dental wellness and vision checks,” Grange said.
International Men’s Day is recognised annually on November 19. It was first celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago as a day to focus on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and for them to be celebrated, in particular, their contribution to community, family, marriage, and childcare, while highlighting ways in which they face discrimination.
Grange said IMD “provided an opportunity to celebrate our men and their role as nation builders, recognising their contribution to homes, communities and the Jamaican society, but also to focus on issues that affect their well-being, such as their mental health”.
“A significant aspect of this celebration is to highlight the role of men as positive male role models, while recognising that they need the requisite support systems that will enable them to realise their full potential,” Grange said.