As Minister with responsibility for gender affairs, I would like to wish a happy international men’s day to all the men across Antigua and Barbuda. This day allows us to assess the challenges facing our men today, exploring issues such as mental and physical health, education and professional advancement, as well as the roles men play in community and family life.
Many men are struggling in these areas and due to stereotypical notions of masculinity, they are unable to cope and deal with the challenges they are faced with in a healthy manner.
This necessitates action on the part of the larger society to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our men and boys and not neglecting them, as this could lead to a perpetuation of some of the harmful behaviour and issues that we have seen arise.
This would also would mean that there is a shortage of positive male role models for our young men to emulate.
My ministry, through the directorate of gender affairs will be making a concerted effort to scale up the level of initiatives and programmes targeting men and boys in an effort to ensure that their needs and interests are being met.
We will be taking a strategic and long term approach to this as we want to ensure that men and boys are also part of the gender equality movement and that we allocate resources towards transforming views around masculinity that may be detrimental to the men and boys of Antigua and Barbuda.
My hope today is that we can celebrate the achievements of the many men in Antigua and Barbuda that are leaving a positive mark professionally, within their homes and communities as fathers, husbands, role models, and within the education system, as this is an area where we are also seeing our boys fall behind in.
Let us continue to encourage our men to strive for excellence and let