January 31, 2023

Cayman: Family Resource Centre celebrates Men and Boys

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Grand Cayman, Tuesday, 15 November, 2022: On Saturday, 19 November, the Family Resource Centre (FRC) will be joining countries around the world to mark the 11th Annual International Men’s Day (IMD) celebrations in the Cayman Islands.

International Men’s Day (IMD) commemorates the positive contributions men make to the world, their families and communities, while highlighting men’s and boy’s well-being.

As part of the IMD initiative, the FRC will be joining the global dialogue about manhood, masculinity and the social issues that men and boys face. This year’s theme “Men Leading by Example” encourages men to teach boys in their lives the value, character and responsibilities of being a man.

“Our aim every year when celebrating IMD is to celebrate men and boys while still recognising the multiple barriers which affect them specifically,” explains FRC’s Clinical Supervisor, Charmaine Miller.

For the first time, the FRC will be hosting the IMD “State of Men and Boys Forum”, an awareness and education event that will feature a panel of experts, male advocates and professionals discussing key issues of mental health, unemployment, lack of positive male role models, and positive opportunities to engage men and boys, among other relevant topics.

“The global suicide rate is twice as high for men compared to women.  Men are twice as likely to die from heart disease than women, and overall have shorter life expectancy than women.  Additionally, there is growing concern about men’s mental health that needs to be discussed more openly and often,” Ms. Miller adds.

“Gender equality is often misunderstood as ‘women’s issues’ but it is far more encompassing than that,” Mr Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service affirms. “Gender equality impacts both men and women, and not simply on how it applies to women’s lives. Gender equality is also a men’s issue – poor health, lower education levels and rigid gender norms are all gender-related issues that directly impact our men and boys.  To have a truly equitable society, which is our ultimate goal, we must recognise and address these disparities in our homes, our communities, and our workplaces. The Civil Service remains committed to gender equality for all, which is why we continue to both encourage and support initiatives like International Men’s Day,” Mr. Manderson adds.

“When we speak of gender inequality and the imbalance of power, it is understandable that we would highlight male privilege, which is the concept that men are automatically granted certain advantages in society and the workplace due to their gender,” explains Premier and Minister for Gender Affairs, Hon. Wayne Panton JP, MP.

“No one is denying that those privileges exist in varying degrees, or accepting that they are appropriate. Yet, the privileges aren’t the full story. Men have vulnerabilities, and the very system that creates the privileges discounts those vulnerabilities. The same messages aimed to create hierarchy between the sexes, which often times are toxic, dehumanise men – and even boys – as they are robbed of their emotions, of their childhood, of their ability to show and receive love, of connecting with loved ones and the community, all for fear of being judged as weak or less than.  That is why International Men’s Day, and events like this forum, are so important: it is time for us to move the conversation forward, no matter how difficult it may be,” Premier Panton concluded.

In keeping with new trends, the FRC will also be using International Men’s Day as a platform to launch new parenting programmes and social-based programmes for men and boys.  Among them, the FRC will be delivering a new programme for young boys called A Young Man’s Guide to Self-Mastery, a 16-week gender-responsive treatment programme that addresses the impact of socialisation, adverse life experiences, and substance use. Additionally, the FRC will continue its efforts to increases services amongst fathers within the community and the prison in keeping with their mission of improving the lives of the people in the Cayman Islands.

The full list of IMD events is as follows:

 *   Men & Boys Football Tournament 19 November, in partnership Cayman Islands Football Association,  a football tournament where men and boys will play on the same team and encourage camaraderie as well as engaging in fun and healthy interaction.
 *   IMD Dress for a Cause- 19 November, an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for programmes and services supporting men’s well -being.
 *   Raising Resilient Boys parenting webinar 22 November, a free parenting session focused on equipping parents with knowledge and skills specific to raising boys.
 *   IMD The State of Men & Boys Forum 25 November, an opportunity to engage men through male-to-male candid discussions on topics that include mental health, relationships and gender. The overall objective is to inspire participants to become agents of change by increasing their understanding on the subject areas and learn to embrace masculinity in a healthy way. Additionally, this conference will launch new programming targeted to boys and young men who experience the world from a masculine perspective.

For more information on FRC programmes and services, IMD activities, or to register contact [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or call 949-000

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