Northern Ireland Office: International Men's Day

Northern Ireland Office written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans his Department has to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2019.

Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

No one should suffer unfair treatment because of their gender. Every year International Men’s Day offers an opportunity to highlight how outcomes for men and boys can be improved and to talk about some of the important work going on every day across Government to do this.

The work ranges from the introduction of shared parental leave, which allows men to take time away from the workplace and bond with their new children, benefitting that crucial long-term relationship for both parent and child, to our programme tackling LGBT bullying in schools which seeks to protect those who may be victimised by outdated and stereotypical ideas of what it means to be a ‘real man’.

Government is also working with local authorities to ensure their suicide prevention plans support more men, and in the Domestic Abuse Bill we propose to create a statutory definition of domestic abuse that makes clear men also can be victims of this abhorrent crime.

My Department has active staff-led Diversity & Inclusion and Wellbeing networks and we plan to mark International Men’s Day on 19 November by communicating key messages on our departmental Intranet - that we want to see all people being treated fairly, regardless of gender and highlighting the support available to men in the workplace from shared parental leave to access to our qualified Mental Health First Aiders.

We will also commission blogs to share male perspectives, which we find is an effective method of raising awareness and generating discussion of important issues.

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