International Men’s Day is celebrated annually on 19th November. It is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on and celebrate the men in their lives and to consider the many positive contributions that men make to family, community, culture and society.

This year, the Men’s Development Network, encouraged everyone to #CelebrateMen on #IMD2021 through social media posts.


We simply invited them to do the following:

1. Identify one man (first name only) whose caring qualities you wish to celebrate.
2. Highlight two of his caring qualities in a video or text post on your social media channels.
3. Nominate three of your friends/family to do the same (and donate to MDN if you wish).

We hoped that sharing these sentiments will encourage new conversations that support our mission: “Better Lives for Men, Better Lives for All”.

MDN: Consistent campaigners for Gender Equality

The theme of this year’s International Men’s Day was Better relations between men & women. 

Seán Cooke, CEO of the Men’s Development Network, said: “International Men’s Day highlights the key global issues impacting on men’s lives today. Celebrating 25 years next year, as an organisation we have consistently addressed these issues in our programmes and campaigns.

“It’s always important for us an organisation that cares deeply about gender equality to represent the campaign here in Ireland. We believe, as an organisation centred around gender equality, that International Men’s Day is a vital opportunity for us to consolidate our working alliances for supporting positive change and celebrating men’s positive qualities and contributions.

“With that in mind, we encouraged men to be reflective and think about their own actions while also encouraging all society, to acknowledge the men who are pro-active, positive role models.

“While the majority of men across Ireland lead positive, healthy lives and are excellent role models, there are men in need of change, but there are also societal norms and stereotypes that act as a real challenge to such progress. For this reason, we need to be conscious of the some of those qualities in men that are not as openly celebrated.

“For instance, we often hear of a man’s sporting, business or comedic abilities, but we may often forget or dismiss the positive contributions he makes to his family or community. We hope using social media to share some of the life-enhancing experiences we have had because of men in our lives can encourage new conversations and transform certain stereotypes.”

Based in Waterford but operating nationally, the Men’s Development Network works with men on various levels including one-to-one, developmental, parenting, behavioural change group work, advice services and awareness raising. Its funded programmes include the Mend Domestic Violence Intervention Programme, Men’s Advice Line, Men’s Counselling Service and Men’s Health Programme.


November 19 marked a worldwide celebration of the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. We highlight positive role models and raise awareness of men’s wellbeing. One of the six pillars of International Men’s Day is to improve gender relations and promote gender equality, not only for men but for women too.