International Men’s Day 2022

Traditionally men were portrayed as the stronger sex, the protectors and providers of safety and security. Women were seen as the weaker sex, the home makers and carers in the family.

Much has changed in modern society and the gender gap is closing in most developed countries. The roles and functions of men and women have merged and sometimes crossed over. This has been essential for tackling discrimination, for effective shared parenting, and for promoting equal opportunities in education and employment.

In spite of this, males continue to attract bad publicity with a focus on male misconduct like misogynism, domestic violence and workplace harassment, both in the Australian workplace and our parliament. However, we live in a country with some of the strongest equality and anti-discrimination legislation in the world and we must trust that such transgressions are not representative of today’s gender relations.

Today we recognise the special value of the male role model and acknowledge the contributions of men and young men to our workplace (QIBA) and society at large. The transition from boyhood to manhood requires good role models and a supportive environment. I believe QIBA is such a place. QIBA is committed to a clear mission and wholesome values, which ensure good governance and fairness for all.

When comparing male and female attributes, there remains a glaring discrepancy in life expectancy and health risk factors. Women live on average 5 years longer than men. 4 in 5 deaths from heart attack are men. 3 in 4 suicides are by men. Men have 4 to 6 times the risk of depression compared to women.

One major stumbling block for males is their reluctance to seek help when needed or to engage with support services that are widely available. More than likely men resort to alcohol or other self-destructive ways to cope with physical and mental health problems. Big men don’t cry. This is the reason why Men’s sheds have become such a vital movement in Australia. This and the RUOK campaign are attempts to get men to talk about their mental and physical health, at least to other men.

The Theme for this year’s International Men’s Day is ‘Mateship’, in particular #MakeTime4Mates. Let’s take some effort to spend quality time with the men in our work and social network. Gender equality is not just about making women equal to men, but rather about how we can work together to make the world a safer place for all boys, girls, men and women. This of course includes all of the LGBTIQA+ members.

Have a Great Men’s Day and Year!

Helmer Lich