More than 50 of the UK’s leading charities, academics, journalists and campaigners have come together to form the UK’s largest ever coalition to tackle gender-specific issues affecting men and boys.
The Men and Boys Coalition, which includes insideMAN, brings together organisations and individuals specialising in fields ranging from mental health and suicide prevention to education and parenting and will be launched in Parliament today ahead of International Men’s Day on 19th November 2016.
The Coalition aims to collectively ensure that issues affecting men and boys are fully recognised and tackled by Government, the statutory sector and society in general.
The many nationally-recognised and award-winning campaigns that have agreed to participate in the Coalition include The Campaign Against Living Miserably [CALM]; Britain’s leading charity for male victims of domestic abuse, the Mankind Initiative; and organisations working with men and boys affected by sexual violence, such as Survivors Manchester.
A world first
Although bringing diverse expertise and coming from across the political spectrum, all members are committed to developing constructive, progressive, coherent and gender-inclusive solutions to male-specific issues. The Men and Boys Coalition will bring these voices together under a single lobbying and campaigning umbrella, believed to be the first coalition of its type anywhere in the world.
Mark Brooks, Chair of domestic abuse charity the ManKind Initiative, said: “Over recent years, we have seen many examples of cooperation from a wide range of voices and charities all concerned that not enough is being done to support men and boys in tackling issues they face in their lives.
"This joint working includes challenging statutory bodies to provide services, campaigning for funding and representing the needs of men and boys in the political arena. It is welcome and long overdue that this new coalition has been formed which will represent us all and make all of us stronger – for the good of men and boys, and of course, the women and girls they share their lives with.”
Jane Powell, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably, said: “As a society we need to look at the needs of men and boys across all of our services, as we have done, for girls and women, and rightly so.
"We see boys failing significantly more than girls in education, significantly more men in prison than women, and far more men taking their lives than women. Inequality in any guise is unacceptable; this is a coalition which is long overdue.”
Duncan Craig, CEO of Survivors Manchester, said: “The Men and Boys Coalition is important to the growth of an area that has been vastly under resourced and neglected - the health and wellbeing of men and boys.
"The coalition provides us with an opportunity to address inequalities, network and join forces and build new relationships that will inevitably result in better provision across the UK for men and boys.”
'A better society for all'
John Adams, stay-at-home-father and leading dad blogger, said: “Women face a lot of issues that need addressing and men have a role to play in making society better for women and girls. There has, however, been a definite change. Slowly but surely, society is waking up to the fact men also face significant challenges: poor mental health provision, a depressingly high suicide rate, ever poorer educational attainment. I am delighted to do my small part to help men meet these challenges and help create a better society for all.”
To mark its launch ahead of International Men's Day, the Coalition has created a series of meme cards for sharing on social media, highlighting some of the hard-hitting facts the Coalition's members hope to address. Each of the cards has the tagline "Not everyday Is International Men's Day".
The conditions of membership for the Coalition include an agreement that progress for men and boys should never come at the expense of the interests and wellbeing of women and girls. The Coalition’s gender-inclusive approach asserts that solutions to male-specific issues should complement campaigns on women’s issues, rather than oppose them. The Coalition will not accept or work with organisations or individuals who express misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism or any other form of bigotry or discrimination.
The co-founders of the Coalition are: Dan Bell, Features Editor, insideMAN magazine; Mark Brooks, equalities campaigner and chair of the ManKind Initiative; Martin Daubney, journalist and broadcaster; Ally Fogg, writer and journalist; Dr Ben Hine, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of West London and Glen Poole, UK Coordinator of International Men’s Day.
To see the full list of members and find out more about the Coalition's aims, visit their site at: www.menandboyscoalition.org.uk