YORK Central MP Rachael Maskell marked International Men’s Day (IMD) with a speech in parliament after the University of York scrapped plans to highlight it.
Ms Maskell attended a debate today entitled ‘Male suicide and International Men’s Day’ in Westminster Hall.
Her speech came after the University of York cancelled plans to mark IMD amid criticism of comments made by Adrian Lee, a member of its own equality and diversity team.
The fall-out from this led to campaign group New Fathers 4 Justice saying it may ‘target’ the university and reports that some students might stage a walk-out.
Neither happened, but more than 3,500 people signed a petition calling for the university to celebrate IMD.
Ms Maskell said: “I think it is important to mark International Men’s Day, which is helping to raise awareness of serious men’s issues such as premature mortality, physical and mental health challenges and the increase in male suicide.
“York has seen a shift from men being employed in highly skilled career jobs such as in the railway industry to less secure, zero hours employment which has had a big impact on those men and women involved and on the city as a whole.
“I think it is right to create space to discuss what challenges men face and how to tackle these issues that many men do not come forward and readily speak about.”