Mental health advocate chides United Nations over non-celebration of Father’s Day


By John Ogunsemore

A mental health advocate, Halima Layeni has faulted the United Nations for failing to celebrate Father’s Day.

In an open letter sent to Daily Sun on Sunday, she accused the global body of ‘systemic gender bias against men’.

Layeni said the United Nations celebrates numerous days dedicated to celebrating women, including International Women’s Day (March 8), International Girls’ Day (October 11), International Day of the Girl Child (October 11), Women’s History Month (March), International Women’s Day of Peace and Disarmament (May 24), but conveniently ignores the days dedicated to celebrating men.

“Dear United Nations, I write to you today with a sense of outrage, disappointment, and frustration.

“Despite your lofty pledges to achieve a just and equal world, you have consistently ignored days dedicated to celebrating men.

“This blatant disregard for half of the global population is a stark reminder of the systemic gender bias that pervades your institution,” the Executive Director of Life After Abuse Foundation (LAAF) said.

Layeni, whose foundation promotes men’s mental health, added, “You proudly proclaim your commitment to gender equality, yet you hypocritically ignore the unseen sacrifices of fathers, husbands, and sons.

“You claim to champion the rights of the marginalized, but men are seemingly invisible to you. Your silence is deafening. It perpetuates a harmful narrative that men are not worthy of recognition or celebration.

“This not only harms men but also has far-reaching consequences for families, communities, and society as a whole.”

She said that while the UN was not wrong to celebrate the days dedicated to women, its observance of those days “highlight the stark contrast in recognition and celebration of men”.

“There are no UN-recognised days dedicated to celebrating men or boys, a disparity that perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes and discrimination.

“This omission is not only a slight against men but also has far-reaching consequences for society.

“It perpetuates a narrative that men are not equally valuable or important, contributing to systemic gender bias and discrimination.

“It reinforces harmful gender stereotypes, limiting men’s ability to express emotions, seek help, and pursue non-traditional roles. It also neglects the unique challenges men face, such as higher rates of suicide, homelessness, and incarceration,” she said.

Layeni demanded accountability from the global body, arguing that “it is time for (the UN) to acknowledge the importance of celebrating men and their contributions”.

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