By Benetta G. Barclay, Intern
As part of activities marking 16 days of activism, He for She Liberia has joined several countries around the world to celebrate International Men’s Day.
International Men’s Day (IMD) is annually observed on November 19. The objectives of celebrating International Men’s Day are set out in ‘All the Six Pillars of International Men’s Day, which include creating awareness among men and boys through conversational forums centering around positive masculinity dialogues, positive fatherhood mentoring and training of men and boys in their roles as positive mentors in ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the homes, schools, communities and their responsibility in fostering women, girl, men and boys empowerment through direct males engagement and involvement.
Speaking at the program on November 19, 2020, Tamba Forkpah Jedidiah Johnson, Founder and National Coordinator for HE FOR SHE Liberia, said society has given a blind eye to the plights of men and boys due to societal misconceptions and social placement.
Mr. Johnson also stressed that the IMD aims to identify those issues confronting men and boys such as their well-being and access to justice without being discriminated against.
He maintained that on the basis of prejudice, society continues to ridicule men without justice, even when their rights are violated by women.
According to him, if violence against women, girls and marginalized groups must end, the hard truth must be told. He lauded men for their positive roles in the homes and the society.
“If we men and boys are accepted, praised for the little good done in the homes, at schools and society, it will give us more zeal to keep doing good, but if we are constantly being ridiculed, many men and boys will revert to violence as an alternative,” he noted.
Mr. Johnson paid homage to all men and boys who are positive at all levels, and urged the Government of Liberia to consider International Men and Boys Day to be one of its many programs because gender involves both sexes.
This year’s IMD celebration focused on Manhood and Masculinity, with focus on “Making a Positive Difference to the Well-Being and Lives of Men and Boys and Raising Awareness and or Funds for Charities Supporting Men and Boys’ Well-Being.”
The celebration usually highlights some of those inhumane social treatments that men and boys face, which eventually are contributing to the increase of Gender-Based Violence at all levels, with women and girls being the most victims.
It also sets the stage for men and boys to be motivated to think and act positively towards women, girls and marginalized groups within the society.
He For She Crusaders Liberia, a national male engagement and involvement organization, organized the one-day activity with cross-session of men, boys, and local leaders in the slum community of Slip Way, Monrovia, Liberia.