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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: International Men's Day

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 7102, tabled on 29 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to mark International Men's Day on 19 November 2019.

Answered on

5 November 2019

The Civil Service is striving to be the most inclusive employer in the United Kingdom, and it is driving a culture of inclusion across its departments, where everyone has a sense of belonging and in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, an environment where no one is treated unfairly because of their gender.

To this end, there has been an increase in the number of “family friendly” policies driven across Civil Service departments, which allows men to take time away from the workplace and bond with their new children, work flexibly e.g. from home or from a hub, allowing men to become and active part of the “School Run”. In addition to these policies, there is a programme tackling LGBT bullying in schools which seeks to protect those who may be victimised by outdated and stereotypical ideas of what it means to be a ‘real man’.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is working with local authorities to ensure that their suicide prevention plans support more men, and in our Domestic Abuse Bill we proposed to create a statutory definition of domestic abuse that makes clear men also can be victims of this abhorrent crime.

In 2018, MHCLG marked International Men's Day 2018 with our Women’s network hosting a panel event to discuss the key international Men’s day 2018 theme, under the headings:

mental health and masculinity;

the role of flexible working and integration in promoting gender equality; and

shared parental leave.

This year, our Deputy Director of Inclusion and co-chair of the award winning Cross – Government Race to the Top G6/7 network, Bernadette Thompson, is leading on a high profile cross-government event, working in collaboration with the Faith and Minority Ethnic (FAME) network in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) targeted at the ethnicity/gender intersect, focused on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) men, who we know have a different experience and face additional barriers to their carrier progression as a result of this intersect.

The conference is open to all men irrespective of grade in the Civil Service and the main purpose of the conference is to: showcase positive male role models from the BAME community; inspire, empower, encourage and motivate BAME men who are civil servants; and to build a cadre and network of BAME men across the Civil Service. The event will be opened by the BEIS Permanent Secretary, Alex Chisholm and the keynote address will come from Lord Woolley of Woodford followed by a panel of 6 men.