(RNN) - For those who have bemoaned a lack of emphasis on men's issues, fret no more. International Men's Day, observed worldwide Tuesday, emphasizes a number of social, health and societal issues males face in society.
The theme this year, Keeping Men and Boys Safe, focuses on suicide, a "tolerance of violence against men and boys," a life expectancy gap and a need for role models.
"People all over the world are used to relating to men as protectors and providers, but how often do we consider the actions we can all take to protect men and boys from harm and provide them with a safe world where they can thrive and prosper?" organizers stated.
Although men still are dominant politically and economically worldwide - for instance, paid more than women for equal work - men face their own gender gaps in certain areas.
Across the globe, men tend to be more likely to commit suicide, according to the World Health Organization. Women also tend to live longer than men, a WHO study suggested, with men in poor countries faring the worst.
The National Institutes of Health stated U.S. men are four times as likely to take their lives as women.
For those who may question the need for a day celebrating men, UK organizer Glen Poole cited a number of negative statistics on men in a Guardian commentary, including rates of incarceration, higher education attainment and violence. He compared the special day to Movember, when men grow facial hair and raise funds to fight prostate and testicular cancer in November.
In a commentary posted at Australian women's issues website Women's Agenda, Julia Keady defended International Men's Day. She stated men are also victimized by established gender roles.
"Most men do not relate to the privileged and powerful stereotype often projected on them," Keady said.
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