International Men’s Day to be discussed in parliament for first time

AGORA moderator's picture

For whatever reason, men are far more reluctant to talk about their personal problems and how they are feeling than women. That’s why International Men’s Day is important – and this year, MPs are recognising its significance by holding a debate in the House of Commons’ main chamber for the first time.

Dismissing claims that it is a stunt, Tory MP Philip Davies said he hopes the day can become an annual tradition. Mr Davies, the MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire, said suicide rates and educational under-achievement will be discussed. He said: ‘We have had a debate for many years on International Women’s Day in the main Chamber to coincide with that. ‘So people thought it was only right that we have the debate to consider the issues around International Men’s Day in the Chamber as well, to give it the same kind of prominence.’

A debate last year was criticised by Labour’s Jess Phillips, who said: ‘It seems like every day to me is International Men’s Day.’ But Mr Davies said: ‘I know some people have been very disparaging about this, saying every day is International Men’s Day and all the rest of it, but there is a big difference between men raising issues and the raising of men’s issues. ‘And yes, men raise lots of issues in Parliament, but not very often are men’s issues raised in Parliament.’

The Tory, who was criticised earlier this year for claiming ‘militant feminists’ only want equality ‘when it suits their agenda’, said the debate is a serious attempt to tackle the issues. This is not a stunt at all. In many respects I would prefer that neither were necessary and I would rather the issues were mainstream and you didn’t have to have an International Men’s Day to raise men’s issue or an International Women’s Day to raise women’s issues. But given that these issues don’t often get discussed, it is just a useful way to highlight some of these issues.

Cross posted from Metro UK: