Minister Taina Bofferding says that children are conditioned from a young age to being assigned gender-specific social roles. She wants more men to take up careers as educators.Video screen grab: ministry of equality between women and men 

International Men’s Day, 19 November, was initially inaugurated in 1999 to promote health awareness of boys and men, and it spawned the “Movember” moustache-growing trend to highlight issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide. But now its focus has shifted to discrimination against men in certain areas such as judicial rulings or social attitudes and expectations, all the while ensuring that gender relations and the promotion of equality between women and men is maintained, says the ministry.

To mark this year’s International Men’s Day, the ministry of equality between women and men has launched a new video campaign that it hopes will encourage more men to take up careers as carers and educators.

“From a very young age, children are conditioned, in different environments, to being assigned to specific social roles related to being a girl or a boy, a woman or a man,” says Taina Bofferding (LSAP). “Some of these norms…are passed on and incorporated unconsciously but can lead to discrimination and gender inequality.”

The second in the “Men who care” video series was launched this week. While the first video had featured fathers talking about taking an active role in the equal share of parenting, the latest clip features testimony from several men who talk about their careers as educators. It is being streamed on the ministry and infoMann websites with English subtitles. Watch the video here.x

Together with the university, Caritas Jeunes et Famille, the Luxembourg Red Cross and the LTPES technical college for the educational and social professions, the ministry is promoting a programme aimed at getting more young men to consider a career in the in the social care professions, and in particular as educators. Bofferding says that understanding and overcoming stereotypes can have a great influence in the professional world when it comes to making choices about what sort of professional training young men might pursue.

A series of web talks about gender stereotypes in being broadcast in French in association with the Media Center of the University of Luxembourg and the Institute for Gender Equality in Berlin.