Dominica’s representative on the Caribbean Male Action Network, CARIMAN,  Thomas Holmes, is urging boys, men, women and children to begin respecting each other to help build  a positive and productive nation.

Speaking in observance of International Men’s Day today, Holmes said that health, education and violence among men, are the main areas of concern for CARIMAN. “We are calling on all men to reflect on the negative impact of violence on the community … we see rampant violence … all men need to learn to respect each other and themselves. Men need to look at their status in society and work together to build the nation,” he said.

International Men’s Day is an annual event celebrated on November 19, geared at focusing on health issues faced by boys and men, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.

It is also an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular, their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Helping Boys and Men to Live Healthier, Happier and Longer Lives.”

Holmes, in an interview with Dominica News Online, said CARIMAN is assisting men and boys on the island to better understand themselves on International Men’s Day. “CARIMAN is trying to help boys and men understand the importance of their health and how it affects their family life, work and society. We also want them to understand that education is important,” he said.

He added that CARIMAN will be working with the welfare division on Tuesday 20th November, 2012 to take a stance against child abuse.

“As part of the International Men’s day activities, we have organised a program at the Goodwill Parish Hall for boys of the secondary school where we will listen to the issues that affect them. They will also hear talks from various people including Tyhani Behanzin and Patrick Henderson and others. In addition, a talent show is slated for Thursday 22nd November,” he said.

Holmes added that men are being asked to get tested for HIV.

International Men’s Day is celebrated in over 60 countries, including, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, India, China, United States and Romania.