National Parenting Taskforce Aims to Raise Awareness for International Men’s Day
On November 19, Belize will celebrate one of the biggest events on its national calendar, Garifuna Settlement Day. The day also coincides with another less-known global celebration, International Men’s Day (IMD). Unlike its counterpart International Women’s Day, celebrated in March, promotion for this event has been lacking, and the National Parenting Taskforce is hoping to change that. The task force, which falls under the National Commission for Families and Children, is preparing to launch an awareness campaign with the hopes of getting International Men’s Day greater recognition in Belize. Arthur Usher, a member of the task force, told Love News that there is no intention to draw any attention away from Garifuna Settlement Day, but rather, to ensure that men are saluted for their contributions to society.
Arthur Usher, National Parenting Taskforce: “Recognizing men and their efforts within the society is something that we don’t do as much as we should in Belize and so having a day like International Men’s Day gives credence and acknowledgment to what men have contributed to the society is important and having boys recognize that men are positive is important. So viewing men as positive then you as a child will grow up and say ‘okay yes I have representation that I can view as positive.’ and that’s always good especially in communities where they do not see a lot of positive male role models and so it’s very important to have these kinds of days. And in different spheres and how we celebrate it it’s always great to celebrate different ways. It’s not a cultural issue, it’s men so across the board positivity for men.”
Usher added that the awareness campaign forms a part of the task force’s mandate to holistically support families. He stressed that honoring men also plays a critical role in the development of young boys.
The campaign begins on November 13. This year, mental health is the focus of International Men’s Day, which is being celebrated under the theme “Zero Male Suicide.”